Destroyed Ukraine Airbases, Air Defenses Says Russia: Reports

Moscow: Russia’s defense ministry has said that they have neutralized Ukrainian military airbases and their air defense systems. This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military offensive against his country’s neighbor.

“Military infrastructure at Ukrainian army air bases has been rendered out of action,” the defense ministry said in a statement carried by news agencies, which added that Kyiv’s air defense systems were “eliminated”.

On Thursday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced a ‘military operation’ on Ukraine. They called on soldiers there to lay down their arms, defying Western outrage and global appeals not to launch a war.

Vladimir Putin has made this surprising statement on television and has expressed his intentions clearly. “I have made the decision of a military operation,” he said shortly before 6:00 am (0300 GMT) in Moscow, as he vowed retaliation against anyone who interfered. He also asked the Ukraine military to lay down its arms. His statement came after the Kremlin said rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine had asked Moscow for military help against Kyiv.

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.

Moments after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine, large explosions were witnessed in the embattled country’s Kyiv and Kharkiv regions. US-based BNO News showed video footage that showed huge flashes of light on the darkened horizon, part of a Russian attack on eastern Ukraine. Explosions were also reported in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol in Donetsk province, and in Belgorod Oblast in Russia. The escalation in the conflict comes after Russian-backed separatists reported several explosions on their territory in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, which allegedly resulted in three civilian deaths. The rebel leaders asked Russia for military assistance to help fend off Ukrainian “aggression”.

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