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26 June, 2024
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Developments in the first few hours of the Russian invasion of Ukraine


At 0500 Greek time this morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of eastern Ukraine. "I have decided to launch a military operation," he said in an emergency televised address. 

Russia's Defense Ministry announced that its forces are hitting military infrastructure in Ukraine with high-precision weapons. 

Joe Biden has condemned Russia's "unjustified attack". 

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, announced that he was declaring a state of war in the entire country.


12:39 - Zelensky: Compares the Russian attack with that of the Nazis

"Russia attacked our country this morning as Nazi Germany did during World War II. As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history. "Russia is on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself and will not relinquish its freedom, regardless of what Moscow believes."

12:31 - Fierce fighting outside Kharkiv, dozens already dead

The main battles, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine is in its seventh hour, are reported on the outskirts of Kharkiv, with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense talking about repelling the Russian invasion of this important city not far from the border with Russia.

12:25 - Borrell: Russia bears full responsibility for this offensive

Russia bears full responsibility for this offensive and all the damage and loss of life it will cause. Josep Borrell emphasized that Russia will be held accountable for its actions. He stated that "the EU's response will include both sectoral and individual restrictive measures, fully coordinated with our transatlantic and like-minded partners."

12:14 - Ukrainian presidency

More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers dead, about 10 civilians have lost their lives

12:12 - Johnson: "It's a disaster for Europe"

12:02 - Russians on the outskirts of Kharkiv

NYT reports that Russian troops have now reached the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, less than six hours after the start of the Russian invasion of the country. This is the deepest penetration into Ukraine that Russian forces have achieved so far and shows the intention of the invaders to occupy a large part of Ukrainian territory.


-Russian forces launched a major military offensive in Ukraine in the early hours of the morning, with reports of bombings and explosions in major cities.

- Shocked by the developments, citizens are trying to leave the capital Kiev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Moscow's response will be "immediate" if anyone tries to intervene.

- The European Union spoke of one of the darkest hours for Europe since World War II, announcing that Russia would face "huge sanctions".

- Ukraine called on the UN to "do everything possible" to put an end to Russian operations.


11:49 - A boy was killed by a house bombing in Kharkiv

A boy was killed when a residential complex in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, was bombed, emergency services said.

11:34 - Zelensky speech: We will defend our homeland in every way 

We will defend our homeland in every way

The enemy has suffered significant losses

We have wounded in hospitals, we need help

We are calling on all Ukrainians, including those in jails, to take up arms

I encourage companies to help citizens with goods and services

Russia attacked us in the morning, Russia is on the path of evil, and they want to wipe out an entire people.  This will not come to pass

Fight in the cities, in the squares, where you live

Russia will not wipe out the Ukrainian people

And you can not block the story. Glory to Ukraine!

11:31 - European markets are diving 3%

European stocks plunged 3% this morning as investors sold risky assets following Russia's attack on Ukraine, raising fears that a war in Europe would fuel higher inflation and derail the economic recovery.

11:24 - Foreign Minister for Ukraine: Developments are sad and contrary to International Legitimacy

Developments are sad and contrary to International Legitimacy. These are military operations inside Europe, something we had avoided since the end of World War II.

11:23 - At the extraordinary EU Summit, the President of the Republic

The Extraordinary Summit of EU leaders will be attended by the President of the Republic, who is paying a visit to Dubai.

11:06 - Ukrainian army: About 50 Russians killed - Six Russian planes shot down in eastern Ukraine

The Ukrainian armed forces claim that in the ongoing fighting about 50 Russians have lost their lives so far and six Russian aircraft have been shot down in eastern Ukraine.

10:39 - Turkey: The Ukrainian ambassador to the Foreign Ministry

The Ukrainian ambassador to Ankara is going directly to the Turkish Foreign Ministry to press for the acceptance by the Turkish authorities of the Ukrainian request for a ban on the passage of Russian warships from the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul.

Although crossing the Straits is free under the Montreux Treaty (1936), Turkey reserves the right in case of war to control and prohibit the passage of certain vessels.

10:35 - Kiev: The armed forces are fighting hard

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the country's armed forces were fighting hard to counter the massive Russian artillery bombardment of infrastructure.

Zelensky's spokesman noted that there was no panic in the presidency.

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