KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — Early Thursday morning Europe was plunged into its worst crisis in decades, as Russia defied international law and threats of devastating economic sanctions by mounting a deadly full-scale invasion of Ukraine, threatening the safety of millions and sending civilians across the country. Shelter as missiles fall from the sky.
The Russian attack began at dawn and came by land, air and sea. Shelling and explosions hit all parts of the country beyond front lines in eastern Ukraine, marking a dramatic escalation of the 2014 Russian offensive.
“We woke up to a drastically different world,” Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emin Dzepper told BuzzFeed News.
The Russian military claimed to have destroyed more than 80 Ukrainian military sites, including 11 airfields, Major General Igor Konashenkov told a briefing from Moscow.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed his country late Thursday, swapping his suit and tie for a military uniform. At least 137 Ukrainians have died in the Russian offensive so far, including civilian and military casualties, he said.
Zelensky ordered full military mobilization, calling up all conscripts and reservists to counter Russia’s actions, which he compared to the actions of the Soviet Union, describing the invasion as “the sound of a new iron curtain falling and closing Russia from civilians. The world.”
“Our task is not to let that curtain fall on Ukrainian territory,” Zelenskyy said.