Jakob Eiseman, Editor-in-Chief
Header Image: USA Today
Editor’s Note: At the time of publishing for the Feb. 24 issue, much was still unknown about the reported Russian invasion of Ukraine, but we did not want to avoid reporting on it due to unfortunate timing. Periodically throughout the week we will be updating this page with news regarding the attack. However, at the 7 a.m. publishing time we have no official report. Please bear with us.
Around 7 p.m. last night, the Ukraine government received word that Russian invasion had been approved by their military leaders, and was prepared for a war to break out at any moment.
At 8:30 p.m. the U.N. announced an emergency meeting. Around the same time, a large number of military vehicles could be seen moving along the northeast Ukrainian border in large numbers.
Between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly announced a “special military operation” in the Donbas region of Ukraine. Earlier this week, Putin recognized Donbas’s capital city Donetsk as an independent region alongside the Ukrainian region of Luhansk. During this address, Putin added “Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so, to create threats for our country, for our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history.”
Just after 10 p.m. explosions could be heard at Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. Just after, explosions went off near Kharkiv in the Northeast.
Around 11:30 p.m., the U.N. emergency meeting was held, and Russian ambassador Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya defended Russian military action claiming “The root of today’s crisis around Ukraine is the actions of Ukraine itself, who for many years were sabotaging its obligations,” referring to those found in the Minsk Agreement.
Also at 11:30 p.m., CNN uploaded an infographic showing all believed explosion sites. As Ukraine is in a state of panic, know that these reports may change:
Just after Nebenzya spoke at the U.N. emergency meeting, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.N. Sergiy Kyslytsya pleaded with the U.N. to use the organization’s security power to end the war. “It is the responsibility of this body to stop the war. So I call on every one of you to do everything possible to stop the war,” said Kyslytsya. To which Nebenzya responded “This isn’t called a war, this is called a special military operation in Donbas.” As he continued his speech, Kyslytsya urged the U.N. security council by claiming it was beyond the time for de-escalation and that military action needs to be taken.
Just before midnight, Russian ships carrying hundreds of soldiers landed in Odessa, a shore city in Southern Ukraine.
At 12:15 a.m., martial law was declared in Ukraine.
At 12:30 a.m. additional Russian forces invaded Ukraine through Belarus., cementing this as a full-scale invasion and war.
At 1 a.m., Ukraine announced it was being attacked through multiple Russian borders, as well as through Belarus, Crimea, and the sea.
At 5 a.m. European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced plans to issue extreme sanctions against the Russian government and economy in order to “weaken Russia’s economic base and its capacity to modernize.” “These sanctions are designed to take a heavy toll on the Kremlin’s interests and their ability to finance war. And we know that millions of Russians do not want war,” said Leyen.
Around 6:15 a.m. NATO published a statement reading “Today, we have held consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty. We have decided, in line with our defensive planning to protect all Allies, to take additional steps to further strengthen deterrence and defense across the Alliance. Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.”
As of the most recent update, the death toll has risen to over 50 Ukrainians, 40 soldiers and 10 civilians, with about 50 Russian soldiers also being killed.
Late this morning, it was confirmed that Russia had taken control of an aircraft base near Kyiv. There have been reports of firefights breaking out near the base and aircraft circling over it.
About 10:30 a.m. Ukraine Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that their Western border is still secure and that “On the territory of Ukraine, all services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in martial law ensure law and order, provide assistance to injured, eliminate destruction and fires.”
12 p.m.: President Biden convened with the National Security Council this morning, and at 12 p.m. he will be reporting the results of that meeting.
Updates to follow