Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy imposed martial law in his country on Thursday when Russia declared war.
Martial law would impose stricter restrictions, including bans on rallies, movements and political parties.
On Thursday, there were explosions in several towns near the frontline, including the coastal areas and the capital Kiev.
Russia declares war
Explosions in Kyiv
Correspondents also reported explosions in the Black Sea port city of Odessa and in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, about 35 kilometers south of the Russian border.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Ukraine was facing a “full invasion”. Kuleba said, “the world must act immediately.”
Ukraine calls for intervention
Kuleba called for the following priority actions:
- Immediate crushing sanctions against Russia, including removal of Russia from global banking system SWIFT
- Complete isolation of Russia in all formats
- Weapons and equipment for Ukraine
- Financial assistance
- humanitarian help
Meanwhile, Putin said in a televised speech that the intention was not to occupy Ukraine, but that military action was aimed at “demilitarizing” Russia’s neighbor.
“We have decided to launch a special military action aimed at demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine,” Putin said in a televised address on Thursday.
The Russian president warned other countries to step aside, as it were, otherwise they would face serious consequences.
He said: “Whoever tries to hinder us, let alone create threats to our country and its people, should know that the Russian response will be immediate and will lead to consequences you have never seen in history”.
Earlier, Putin said clashes between Russian and Ukrainian troops are “inevitable” and called on Ukrainian military personnel to “put down their weapons and go home”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is “shocked by the horrific events” in Ukraine
“I spoke with President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps. President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine.”
Johnson said the UK and its allies “will react resolutely”.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the Russian invasion was “a blatant violation” of international law on a “dark day” for Europe.
Scholz said in a statement that Germany condemns this unscrupulous act by President Putin in the strongest possible terms. Our solidarity goes out to Ukraine and its people.”
US President Joe Biden said Russia will be held accountable and warned that the invasion of Ukrainian territory will cause catastrophic loss of life.
This is a story in development, more to come