Powerful explosions in Ukraine Capital Kyiv, Mariupol after Putin announces military operation

Kyiv: Moments after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine, explosions were heard in the capital city Kyiv and several cities and along the country’s coast.

Explosions were also heard in Ukraine’s Black Sea port Odessa, Kharkiv, a large city 35 kilometres (20 miles) south of the Russian border, reports AFP.

Four loud blasts were heard out in  Kramatorsk, a frontline city that serves as the Ukrainian government’s effective capital for the eastern war zone, and more were heard in the eastern port city of Mariupol, AFP reporters said.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine calling it a “reckless and unprovoked attack” and warned that President Vladimir Putin’s actions put “countless” lives in jeopardy.

As Russia announced military action in the eastern part of the country, Ukraine has restricted civil aircraft within the country. The Ukrainian government has issued NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions).

US President Joe Biden has condemned ‘unprovoked and unjustified attack’ by Russia against Ukraine warning of ‘catastrophic loss of life and human suffering’.

“Prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” said Biden.

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