Russia-Ukraine live news: Putin launches full-scale invasion

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin launches Ukraine invasion.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declares martial law.
  • He also calls on citizens to fight, says weapons will be issued to everyone who wants them and claims Ukraine will “win”.
  • Several Ukrainian civilians reportedly killed.
  • Ukraine’s military says about 50 Russian forces have been killed and six warplanes destroyed in fighting.
  • Western powers condemn Moscow’s move.
  • Crisis escalated after Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine requested Moscow’s assistance.
  • Ukraine’s Klitschko pleads for international assistance

    Former world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko, whose brother Vitali is the mayor of Kyiv, has told Al Jazeera that the Russian invasion is “terrifying” and called on the world to help “stop the killing of Ukrainians”.

    Russia can not be cut off behind an ‘iron curtain’, Kremlin spokesman says

    The Kremlin says Russia can not be shut off behind an iron curtain and that it needs Ukraine to become a neutral country where offensive weapons were not deployed.

    “It’s simply impossible to cut off a country like Russia with an iron curtain,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked to assess the risk of Russia being diplomatically and economically isolated due to its actions in Ukraine.

    Russian forces trying to penetrate Kyiv region, border officials say

    Russian forces are trying to penetrate into Ukraine’s Kyiv region and its Zhytomyr region on the Belarusian border, Ukrainian border officials say.

    The officials said Russia was using Grad rocket systems as part of its assault, and claimed that Russian helicopters had attacked a military airport near Kyiv.

    Ukrainian forces shot down three of the helicopters involved in the attack on the facility, the officials added.

    UN’s high commissioner for refugees urges countries to give fleeing Ukrainians safe haven

    The UN’s high commissioner for refugees has warned that the situation in Ukraine is quickly deteriorating and appealed to neighbouring countries to keep their borders open to people seeking a safe haven.

    “We have already seen reports of casualties and people starting to flee their homes to seek safety,” Filippo Grandi said in a statement.

    He added the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) had stepped up its operations and was working with Ukrainian authorities to provide greater humanitarian assistance.

    Grandi said the agency was also working with governments in neighbouring countries and called on them “to keep borders open to those seeking safety and protection”.

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