Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “military operation” in Ukraine on Thursday. He announced to protect the Donbas, the separatist-held region in eastern Ukraine.
In the address, broadcast on Russian national television, Putin urged Ukrainian forces to lay down their arms and go home, saying all responsibility for possible bloodshed will be entirely on the conscience of the Ukrainian government. He also said the Russian military operation aims to ensure a “demilitarisation” of Ukraine.
This statement comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine has not posed and will not pose a threat to Russia.
Ukraine on Thursday morning closed its airspace to civil aircraft and three airports in Dnipro, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia have been closed to traffic. It comes after the US Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) service reported that Russia had ordered civil airspace to close around Rostov, near the eastern border of Ukraine.