Tragic human cost of Russian invasion of Ukraine laid bare as heartbreaking visuals emerge

Explosions were visible near Kharkiv, minutes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine


                            Tragic human cost of Russian invasion of Ukraine laid bare as heartbreaking visuals emerge
Civilians were spotted fleeing after Russia attacked Ukraine (Chris McGrath and Pierre Crom/Getty Images, Ahmer Khan/Twitter)
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As the Ukraine-Russia conflict has spiraled into a war, the world braces for a potential catastrophe. Mere minutes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, explosions were visible near the city of Kharkiv. Attacks on multiple cities followed soon after.

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Putin said the decision was taken in response to the threats coming from Ukraine. He added that Russia doesn't have a goal to occupy Ukraine and that all Ukrainian servicemen who lay down arms will be able to safely leave the zone of combat. Putin also warned other countries to not interfere with Russian actions or lead to consequences never seen before.

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As per reports, the airstrike in Kharkiv killed a boy after a building was hit. Shocking images circulating on social media show civilians covered in blood after Russia blitzed an apartment block in Ukraine. Various casualties are being reported as the police try to evaluate injured people as well as the bombardments.


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Police sources reported multiple explosions as air raid sirens blared as far west as Lviv, while hundreds of casualties were reported by Ukraine's Interior Ministry. Firefighters were seen trying to extinguish the flames of a house burning after an airstrike hit in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv. Reports state Russian attacks on a number of major Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Mariupol.

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Meanwhile, terrified Ukrainians were spotted fleeing as explosions hit the capital Kyiv and other major cities in the country. Families took shelter inside subway stations while long queues were seen on railway platforms. Residents rushed to gas stations as they tried to head out of Kyiv but were met with gridlocked highways.

People wait for buses at a bus station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

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People wait for buses at a bus station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

 

Thousands woke up terrified as Kyiv was rocked by a number of explosions. 29-year-old Maria Kashkoska said, "I woke up because of the sounds of bombing. I packed a bag and tried to escape. We are sitting here, waiting." Ukrainian defense officials revealed that Kyiv's main international airport had come under a Russian bombing attack. Long queues formed at petrol stations as residents prepared to flee. "I once again call on the people of Kharkiv to stay at home and to remain as calm as possible," said Mayor Igor Terekhov.

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A scared mother, Ksenya Michenka took cover with her teenage son in a metro station off Kyiv's Maidan Square. She ran to the subway station for cover and safety due to the ongoing war. "We need to save our lives. We hope the metro can save us because it is underground," she said. More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers and a dozen civilians died during the Russian military attacks on them this morning, as per the President.

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Some civilians, on the other hand, are ready to fight for their country. 62-year-old Vladimir Levichov said, "If they continue to bomb us, I will find weapons and defend my homeland." Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs, tweeted, "Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now."

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He further tweeted, "To Ukrainians around the globe: Putin attacked, but no one is running away. Army, diplomats, everyone is working. Ukraine fights. Ukraine will defend itself. Ukraine will win. Share the truth about Putin’s invasion in your countries and call on governments to act immediately." Hours later, he tweeted an update, "No, this is not a Russian invasion only in the east of Ukraine, but a full-scale attack from multiple directions. No, the Ukrainian defense has not collapsed. Ukrainian army took the fight. Ukraine stands with both feet on the ground & continues to defend itself."

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted, "We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities." Another tweet from him read, "We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defense with weapons in hands."


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"We have severed diplomatic relations with Russia. For all those who have not yet lost their conscience in Russia, it is time to go out and protest against the war with Ukraine," Zelenskyy added. "Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in #2WW years. As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history. [Russian flag emoji] has embarked on a path of evil, but [Ukraine flag emoji] is defending itself & won't give up its freedom no matter what Moscow thinks," he concluded.

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Zelenskyy also addressed the nation and said, "We need blood. Please give blood and donate your blood to our defenders. This is a morning which will go down in history. For Ukrainians independence is the highest value... we will fight for our country and we will support our country in the squares of each town."

Disclaimer: This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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