As air raid sirens blasted in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, reports stated that Ukrainian Air Force Mig-29s were defending themselves against Russian Air Force Su-35 fighter jets. The war had begun.
Russian tanks crossed the border from Belarus to Ukraine. Videos show that Ukrainian Air Force AN-26 planes were shot down, confirming five Ukrainians on board were killed. Intense bombings were reported near Kharkiv at 4:00 am Thursday, diminishing apartment buildings into fragments of concrete. Other explosions were heard in Kramatorsk. Unconfirmed reports indicated naval landings in Odessa from the Black Sea.
Russian Military Defense released a statement: “As a result of Russian strikes, 74 ground objects of the military infrastructure of Ukraine were disabled, including 11 airfields of the Air Force, 3 command posts, a naval base and 18 radar stations of the S-300 and Buk-M1 air defense systems.”
Due to cyberattacks on the Ukrainian government, banks and parliament websites, the Internet has been shut down entirely.
According to the adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, “Russian troops captured the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant zone.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of nuclear risks if there is damage to the plant. Zelensky stated, “This is a declaration of war on the whole of Europe.” Yet, European military assistance is nonexistent.
In a police state like Russia, where “opposition protesters are jailed or beaten, right now, thousands have taken to the streets. Their voices are being shown to the world.”
But the fight continues. Video footage shows Russian soldiers raising the Russian flag over a hydroelectric plant in Nova Kahovka, which is located 60 kilometers (37 miles) into Ukraine. Both Nova Kakhovka and Kachovka have been easily captured.
Alone, Zelensky has done everything he can to keep his country, including ordering full military mobilization. Just short of begging, he called up all operational reserves and “all those who can hold weapons” to attack Russian invasion forces; in 2018, the total was 178,000.
“The future of the Ukrainian people depends on every Ukrainian,” pleaded Zelensky. “Russia has attacked Ukraine in a cowardly and suicidal way, like Nazi Germany did during World War II.”
Nevertheless, Ukrainians are putting up a mighty fight for their homeland, reportedly shooting down five Russian helicopters, destroying dozens of tanks and capturing at least 80 of Putin’s troops, according to The News Room 24.
The Ukrainian government closed checkpoints in Crimea and declared a state of emergency, while continuing to urge citizens to shelter in place. The elderly and the young, the disabled and the laborers are huddled underground inside the Kharkiv metro, which is doubling as a bomb shelter. Due to the heavy assault, more than 100,000 Ukrainians have been displaced.
As Putin continued his invasion, he announced that “this is a war to demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine and to put to justice those that committed numerous bloody crimes against peaceful people, including Russian nationals,” according to state-run TAAS Russian News Agency. Flexing his muscles, Putin demanded that the West stop weapons delivery and recall from Ukraine all American advisers.
Countries around the world have called upon Putin to halt the expansionist invasion. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid declared, “Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a major attack on world order.”
French President Emmanuel Macron called Putin to implore him to remove the troops. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-N.Y.) cautioned, “We’re seeing an air, land and sea attack taking place right now …We haven’t seen anything like this since … Hitler invaded Poland in World War II. I just hope this is mot the beginning of World War III.”
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pleaded, “For the love of God, pull back your troops into Russia. The world does not want to see another war in Europe.”
As the attack advanced, U.S. President Joe Biden continued to discuss diplomacy, warning Russia that invading Ukraine will have “deep economic consequences.” Biden still has not even addressed American military involvement, but he did convene a National Security Council meeting.
The European Union promises sanctions. Switzerland already imposed their own sanctions against Russian Banks. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Lapid offered humanitarian aid. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called an emergency NATO summit.
Zelensky says that Russia’s invasion has severed Moscow from the rest of the international community. “What do we hear today? It’s not just rocket explosions, combat and the roar of aircraft. This is the sound of a new iron curtain lowering and closing Russia off from the civilized world,” he said in a video address.
A true patriot and defender of Ukraine, Zelensky conveyed his personal loyalty, “The enemy’s sabotage forces have entered the capital. My family and I are remaining here.”
Let’s pray that those will not be his last words.
Valerie Greenfeld is an expert in security who has worked in the United States Senate and the White House in Washington, D.C. Bernie News Network (BNN) contributed significantly to this report.