NATO officials claim that Russia has attacked Ukraine

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Ukraine’s leader calls for support amid Putin’s war “against the whole democratic world”

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky addressed his nation as Russian troops reportedly crossed into the country, asking his people to stay strong, be wary of false information, and promising hourly updates.

“I will provide you with updated and verified information every hour,” Zelensky said. We are being attacked with bombs and fakes. Truth should only be obtained from official sources. Russia invaded Ukraine today. Putin began a war on Ukraine against all democratic countries. Putin wants to destabilize my country. He is determined to take down our country and all that we have built, as well as what we are passionate about.

Praising the country’s troops for defending its borders, Zelensky urged all Ukrainians to remain calm and support the military’s efforts: “Let’s not panic. We must do all that we can to help the Ukrainian armed forces. “

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses his nation on February 24, 2022.

Presidential handout


The president, who spoke from an undisclosed location in Ukraine, said he had spoken to President Biden, as well as leaders across Europe, and that they had started to create an “anti-Putin coalition. “

“I have already called on world leaders to impose all possible sanctions against Putin, start full-scale defense support,” he said. We must all work together to save Ukraine and save the democratic world. It will be possible. We will do it. “

Residents stock up in eastern city of Kharkiv amid shelling

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People line up at a grocery story in Kharkiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2022, after Russian bombs struck targets around the city, according to Ukraine’s military.

CBS


People in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv lined up to buy groceries on Thursday, clearing store shelves of some basic goods after Russian shelling was heard nearby.

CBS News saw smoke rise from the site of one blast in or near Kharkiv on Thursday morning amid reports that military facilities and warehouses were being targeted around various Ukrainian cities.

– Haley Ott, Holly Williams and Erin Lyall

U.N. Security Council: From pleas for restraint, to condemnation

As the United Nations Security Council was in emergency session Wednesday night in a last-ditch effort to ward off a Russian invasion of Ukraine, word began filtering in that an attack was beginning.

At that point, Ukrainian U.N. At that point, Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya stated, “It is too late, dear friends, to talk about de-escalation.” Russian President declared war. This body has the obligation to end the war. “

As he spoke, Kyslytsya pointedly showed video on his phone to Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia was also present in the room.

As stunned diplomats were exiting the meeting, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressed Putin directly, saying, “President Putin, in the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia. The conflict should be stopped immediately. “

And U.S. U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield stated that Russia alone was responsible for the destruction and death this attack would bring. The United States, along with its allies, will react in unison and determined. Russia will be held accountable by the world. “

— Pam Falk and Brian Dakss

Early claims of deaths, injuries

The Ukrainian National Police say six people were killed and seven wounded in a bombing in the Odessa region city of Podolsk, adding that 19 people were missing.

And another person was killed and two more injured in shelling in the city of Mariupol in the Donetsk region, the National Police said.

U.S. Embassy in Ukraine issues alert

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said in a security alert early Thursday that, “There are reports of Russian attacks on targets in a number of major Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Mariupol, and others. U.S. citizens living in Ukraine should “stash in place” to avoid being harmed by sirens and explosions.

“Further Russian military action can occur at any time without warning. The alert urged Americans living in Ukraine to be vigilant and to take the necessary steps to improve their security awareness.

Brian Dakss and Li Cohen

Already, conflicting claims on air war

Russian’s defense ministry claimed Thursday that it had destroyed the Ukrainian military air base and air defense system. This was just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on his neighbor.

“Military infrastructure at Ukrainian army air bases has been rendered out of action,” the defense ministry said in a statement carried by news agencies, adding that Kyiv’s air defense systems were “eliminated. “

But the Ukrainian military claimed Thursday that it had downed five Russian planes and a helicopter in the east of the country near a rebel-held enclave.

“According to the Joint Forces Command, today, February 24, in the area of the Joint Forces operation, five planes and a helicopter of the aggressors were shot down,” the army general staff said.

CBS/AFP

Ukrainian president declares martial law

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared martial law, urging citizens to not panic as Russia launches military strikes.

Zelensky said Russia has targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure and explosions are being heard across the country. Zelensky stated that he spoke to President Biden just moments ago and that the U.S. is rallying support for Ukraine. Zelensky urged Ukrainians not to leave.

Biden says he spoke with Zelensky about Russia’s “unjustified attack”

President Biden released a statement early Thursday morning, saying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reached out to him and the two spoke about Russia’s “unjustified attack. “

The call took place shortly before midnight ET, a White House official confirmed.

“I condemned this unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. In the statement, Mr. Biden stated that he had briefed him about the international steps being taken to condemn the attack by Russian military forces. He asked me to urge the leaders around the globe to condemn President Putin’s flagrant aggression and stand by the Ukrainian people. Tomorrow I’ll be in a meeting with leaders of the G7. The United States, our Allies, and Partners will impose severe sanctions against Russia. Our support will not stop for Ukraine or the Ukrainian people. “

-Sophie Reardon, Bo Erickson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vows decisive response from U.K. and allies

British Prime Minster Boris Johnson denounced Putin’s “unprovoked attack on Ukraine” and promised that Britain and its allies would “respond decisively.” “

“I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps,” Johnson tweeted. By launching an unprovoked attack against Ukraine, President Putin is choosing a path to bloodshed and destruction. “

The U.K. imposed economic sanctions on five Russian banks and three oligarchs earlier this week in response to Putin’s decision to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine as independent. Johnson stated Tuesday to the House of Commons that the U.K. has additional sanctions in place for Russia if Russia escalates.

Russian Ministry of Defense claims it is not attacking Ukrainian cities

The Russian Ministry of Defense stated to state-run news agency RIA Novosti, that no missiles, air strikes or artillery attacks have been launched against the Ukrainian cities.

“The military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields, aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are being disabled with high-precision weapons,” the agency said.

Nothing threatens the civilian population, the Ministry of Defense said.

Despite that claim, CBS News correspondents reported hearing loud blasts in the capital city of Kyiv and in the eastern city of Kharkiv shortly after Putin announced the military operation had begun.

Biden briefed on Russia’s attack on Ukraine by members of national security team

President Biden was briefed on a secure call about the ongoing attack by Russian forces against Ukraine by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted.

The president is monitoring the situation from the residence at the White House.

-Melissa Quinn, Nancy Cordes

Ukraine’s foreign minister is heading back to the country, official says

A Ukrainian official stated that Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuneba was on his way back home, even though the airport is closed. The Ukrainian official said that Kuleba had visited the U.S. to attend high-level meetings.

Kuleba told the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday that “the beginning of a large-scale war in Ukraine will be the end of the world order as we know it. “

Kuleba met with President Biden in Washington on Tuesday, with the White House saying the meeting was to “reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Kuleba met also with U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, and participated in a press conference together with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

NATO secretary general condemns Russia’s “reckless and unprovoked attack”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called Russia’s aggression “reckless” and stated that NATO would do everything it can to defend its members.

“Once again, despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression against a sovereign and independent country,” he said.

Stoltenberg called Russia’s attack a “grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security,” and urged Russia to immediately cease all military action.

“NATO Allies will meet to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions,” he added. We stand by the Ukrainian people in this horrible time. NATO will protect and defend Allies to the fullest extent possible. “

Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.N. calls on Russia to relinquish leadership of Security Council

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya lambasted Russia during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council Wednesday night and called on its ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, to give up his seat as president of the council over its attack on Ukraine. (The presidency of the U.N. Security Council rotates on a monthly basis among the 15 members. February 2022 is Russia’s month. )

“I was intending to ask the Russian ambassador to confirm on the record that the Russian troops will not start firing at Ukrainians today and go ahead with the offensive,” Kyslytsya said. “It became useless 48 minutes ago, because about 48 minutes ago, your president declared war on Ukraine. “

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Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya attends an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine in New York on February 23, 2022.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images


The Ukrainian ambassador called for Nebenzia to state “on the record” that Russian forces at this moment are not bombing Ukrainian cities, and troops are not moving into the country.

“You have a smartphone. He said that he could call Lavrov now, referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Kyslytsya continued, “If you are not in a position to give an affirmative answer, the Russian Federation ought to relinquish responsibilities of the president of the Security Council, pass these responsibilities on to a legitimate member of the Security Council, a member that is respectful of the charter. “

The Ukrainian ambassador told Security Council members it’s “too late” to speak about an escalation of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

“The Russian president declared the war on the record. Do I have to play the video? Do I have to do this? He told the Russian diplomat, “You can confirm it.” It is the duty of the body to end the war. I appeal to everyone to make every effort to put an end to the conflict.

In response to Kyslytsya’s remarks, Nebenzia declined to disturb Lavrov and rejected the characterization of Russia’s actions as “a war. “

“This isn’t called a war — this is called a special military opportunity in the Donbas,” he said.

Kyslytsya reiterated his call for Russia’s representative at the U.N. to relinquish his duties and declared “There is no purgatory for war criminals. Ambassador, they go straight to hell. “

Ukrainian foreign minister says the country “will win” in Russia’s “war of aggression”

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, tweeted that Ukraine “will defend itself and will win. “

“Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes,” he wrote. This is an act of aggression. Ukraine will fight back and win. Putin must be stopped by the world. Now is the time to take action. “

Hope for diplomatic solution evaporates

Congressional leaders were notified of the Russian attack on Ukraine before it began. CBS News was informed by two U.S. officials that although diplomatic activities will continue, it appears unlikely there is any diplomatic solution. According to the officials, any diplomatic efforts would only be directed at underscoring the moral outrage in the international community as well as maintaining unity regarding sanctions.

Emergency meetings are expected to be called at the U.N., NATO and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. G7 leaders and EU leaders could also gather.

Margaret Brennan, Mary Hager

Warner says now is the time to “up the pain level for the Russian government”

Senator Mark Warner is chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee and denounced Russia‚Äôs attack against Ukraine. He said that now was the right time to increase the “pain level for Russia.”

“For more than 70 years, we have avoided large-scale war in Europe. Warner stated that Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion in Ukraine has brought an end to decades of peace and stability.

“Now the U.S. and our NATO allies must stand united and resolute against Putin’s efforts to renew the Russian empire at the expense of the Ukrainian people. The first tranche of sanctions has been imposed by President Biden. Now it’s time to increase the severity for Russia. It is important that we continue to strengthen the NATO alliance’s defenses and explore ways in which we could help the Ukrainian people during their times of greatest need. “

Warner added that the attack on Ukraine “is a tragedy not only for Ukraine, but for the Russian people as well. “

“They will pay a steep cost for Putin’s reckless ambition, in blood and in economic harm,” he said.

Biden to speak Thursday and announce “further consequences” for Russia

President Biden will deliver remarks early Thursday afternoon to announce “further consequences” the U.S. and its allies will impose on Russia for its attack on Ukraine, a White House official tells reporters.

Exactly when the remarks will take place has yet to be announced. On Thursday, the president will remain at White House throughout the day.

Ukraine says “cruise and ballistic missiles strikes are underway” in Kyiv

A spokesperson for the Ukrainian government confirmed that missile and cruise strikes were underway in Kyiv’s control centers on Thursday.

Biden: “The world will hold Russia accountable”

President Biden condemned the “unprovoked and unjustified attack” by Russian forces.

“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. In a statement, President Putin stated that he has decided to wage a premeditated conflict which will cause a great deal of human and physical suffering.

“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. Russia will be held accountable by the entire world. “

The president said he would be monitoring the developments from the White House and receiving updates from his national security team. On Thursday, he will meet with the Group of 7 leaders and plan to address the nation to announce what further sanctions the United States along with our allies and friends would impose upon Russia in response to its needless aggression against Ukraine. “

The U.S. will also coordinate with NATO allies “to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance,” Mr. Biden said.

Explosions mark beginning of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Explosions heard by CBS News journalists in Kyiv and Kharkiv are the beginning of a Russian invasion, a NATO official confirmed to CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

This shelling is expected to continue up until daybreak, and then ground operations will begin. This could include paratroopers or helicopter-transported airborne troops. Martin reports that tanks would follow this with tanks crossing the border as part of a classic invasion force heading into Ukraine.

-David Martin, Kathryn Watson

Russia facing sanctions, “further consequences” to come

In response to Putin’s recognition of the breakaway regions, Mr. Biden issued an executive order barring “new investment, trade and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in” Donetsk and Luhansk and imposing sanctions that target the regions.

Mr. Biden also imposed economic sanctions on two Russian banks, VEB and Promsvyazbank, and five Russian oligarchs, as well as on Nord Stream 2 AG, the company building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and its corporate officers in response to Russia’s escalating aggression against Ukraine.

The White House has stressed the measures make up a first tranche of sanctions, issued alongside Western allies, with the U.S. and partners poised to impose harsher penalties if Russia continued to escalate.

Mr. Biden stated in a statement that he would announce further sanctions against Russia on Thursday for its attack on Ukraine.

Biden “closely monitoring” developments in Ukraine, White House says

President Biden is “closely monitoring” the developments in Ukraine and is receiving updates from national security adviser Jake Sullivan, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted ahead of Putin’s remarks announcing the “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine.

Psaki said the president also spoke with U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Ambassador to the U.N. Security Council Meeting Wednesday night.

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