Russia Launches Full-Scale Invasion On Ukraine; Major Cities Under Strike: Reports

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Russia, after weeks of a standoff at the Ukrainian borders, has launched a military operation in what could be the start of a wider conflict in Europe, as per reports issued by international media.

It is understood that Russia invaded Ukraine at 10 pm (EST) yesterday [Wednesday, 23 February], following a breakdown in political and diplomatic dialogue between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his European counterparts.

The BBC reported that explosions were heard from Kyiv and other cities soon after the Russian announcement. OERLive also learns that a Russian cyberattack shut down Ukraine’s government websites and services.

The country has since declared a state of emergency and summoned 36,000 additional troops to fortify its existing combat units.

While NATO’s encroachment and growing power in the region (save for Belarus) has been toted as the core of the said conflict, President Vladimir Putin also stated: “Ukraine is our historical territory.”

Within an hour from the President’s speech, it is understood that Russian troops infiltrated Ukrainian borders through land and sea. Not long after, rockets were directed towards the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

It is also known that Russian peacekeeping troops had been stationed in Ukrainian breakout regions such as Donetsk and Lugansk after the President declared them “independent states”.

Russia Launches Full-Scale Invasion On Ukraine; Major Cities Under Strike: Reports
A tanker peeps out of a tank hatch of a T-64 tank during training of the Ukrainian army in January 2022.

Defending Russia’s military actions in the Donbas region, the Russian envoy to the UN Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya was quoted as telling the UN Security Council: “The root of today’s crisis around Ukraine is the actions of Ukraine itself.”

“[Ukraine] for many years were sabotaging its obligations under the (Minsk agreement),” he added, before stating that the Russian operation was aimed to protect residents in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden condemned the attack on Ukraine, saying: “This was an unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine,” and added that the premeditated war will bring a catastrophic loss of life.

“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said in a White House statement.

More sanctions from the West and Europe are expected after the first round of economic sanctions were levied this week.

While the conflict has actively dropped the value of the Russian ruble, Brent oil trades were well over the US$100 per barrel mark. The Dubai Mercantile Exchange is yet to determine the rate of trade for Omani crude oil today [Thursday, February 24]; albeit, experts expect a rise from the previous days.