Ukraine is under attack from Russia, according to multiple media reports. Troops entered the country from a border crossing with Belarus, where tens of thousands of additional troops are reportedly stationed.

President Vladimir Putin authorized the special military operation in the early morning hours on Thursday.

Speaking on TV, the president said, “I have declared a special military operation… For those who would be tempted to intervene. Russia will respond immediately and you will have consequences that you never have had before in your history.”

Russian airstrikes had commenced on multiple airports, airbases and checkpoints around the country, according to media reports. In addition, bombings were underway in other parts of Ukraine.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) tweeted on Thursday that “what is underway is a full scale and comprehensive military assault throughout Ukraine. Airborne & amphibious landings, missile strikes from air, ground and naval forces, electronic and cyber attacks and a large ground force to occupy a large swath of territory.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has declared martial law and asked that citizens shelter in place.

The country also shut its airspace to civilian flights due to safety concerns, Reuters reported.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is set to hold a situational assessment on Ukraine, his office said, adding that it is in contact with Israeli diplomatic staff in Lviv.

Some 8,000 Israelis are believed to still be in Ukraine, despite repeated requests by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for them to leave.

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke to Zelenskyy and said that the United States and its allies would impose severe sanctions on Russia, according to Reuters.

The United Nations Security Council convened an emergency meeting on Wednesday night in a last-ditch effort to prevent an invasion.

Putin made his televised announcement of the military operation while the UNSC was in session.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the Russian attack “the saddest moment” of his five-year tenure, AP reported. “In the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia.”

JNS

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