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Ukrainian tanks move into the city, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Mariupol, February 24 2022. Picture: CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS
Ukrainian tanks move into the city, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Mariupol, February 24 2022. Picture: CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS

Here’s what you need to know about the Ukraine crisis right now:

Headlines: 

• Russian forces have fired missiles at several cities in Ukraine and landed troops on its coast on Thursday, officials and media said, after President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a special military operation in the east.

• Putin says his aim is to demilitarise and ‘denazify’ Ukraine.

• Russian troops attacked Ukraine from Belarus and Russia, as well as from annexed Crimea, Ukraine’s border guard service said. Russia’s defence ministry said its air strikes were not targeting cities.

• Gunfire was heard near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Ukraine said Russia was shelling across Ukraine all the way to the western Lviv region.

• Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to world leaders to impose all possible sanctions, saying Putin wanted to destroy the Ukrainian state.

• The EU will impose new sanctions, freezing Russian assets, halting access of its banks to the European financial market and targeting “Kremlin interests” over its “barbaric attack”, senior officials said on Thursday.

• US President Joe Biden said the US and its allies would impose “severe sanctions” on Russia.

• Central European countries started preparations to receive potentially hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Ukraine.

• Moldova declared a state of emergency. Dozens of cars were queuing on its border with Ukraine, according to Moldovan media websites.

• Russia suspended movement of commercial vessels in the Azov sea, but kept its ports in the Black Sea open for navigation, its officials and five grain industry sources said.

• Ukraine asked Turkey to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to Russian ships, Ukraine’s ambassador to Ankara said.

What’s ahead

• Biden met his G7 counterparts on Thursday to map out more severe measures against Russia. Biden called Putin’s move against the Ukraine “a premeditated war”.

• EU leaders will discuss a further sanctions package on Russia at an emergency meeting later on Thursday, the EU said in a statement.

• Nato ambassadors are to hold an emergency meeting on Thursday.

• UN Security Council to discuss a resolution condemning the invasion.

Reuters

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