On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the “consequences” of any attempt to strike back against the country would provoke a response “never seen in history”.
Broadcasted live on television at 5.45 am Moscow time, President Putin said: “Whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never encountered in your history.”
“All relevant decisions have been taken. I hope that I will be heard.”
“No one should have any doubts that a direct attack on our country will lead to the destruction and horrible consequences for any potential aggressor,” he said in his speech that acted as a declaration of war on Ukraine.
Officials have said an attack on a military unit in Podilsk, in Ukraine, killed six people and wounded seven.
Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has already left at least 40 dead as of Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine early Thursday as air strike sirens rang in Kyiv and Russian missiles reportedly struck multiple cities across the country.
Anton Gerashchenko, a top adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on Facebook that the Russian attacks targeted military command facilities, depots and air bases, according to a translation by the AP.
The translation also conveyed that Ukrainian troops had returned fire against a Russian “artillery barrage” backed by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also said Thursday that Russia was attempting to seize control of Chernobyl, the site of a 1986 nuclear disaster.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, a NATO state, urged the country to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to Russian warships, according to The New York Times, following reports that the Russians bolstered their fleet in the Black Sea, which all three countries border.