Putin had announced a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday with explosions heard soon after across the country and its foreign minister warning a “full-scale invasion” was underway.
Shortly after the announcement, explosions were heard in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and several other cities,
Weeks of intense diplomacy and the imposition of Western sanctions on Russia failed to deter Putin, who had massed between 150,000 and 200,000 troops along the borders of Ukraine.
“We are ready for any outcome,” was what the Russian strongman uttered in a televised message on Thursday morning.
“Whoever will try to stop us and further create threats to our country, our people should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and lead to such consequences that you have never faced in your history.”
“Its goal is the protection of the people who during eight years suffer from abuse and genocide from the Kyiv’s regime,” he said in defence of the military offensive
Despite the incursion by Russia, a close ally to Putin, President Alexander Lukashenko. has claimed that Belarusian troops are not taking part in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,
“Our troops are taking no part in this operation,” Lukashenko said.
He also said he had “personally suggested” to Putin for “a number of the Russian armed forces” to stay in the south of the country despite joint military drills coming to an end.