The GuardianThe Guardian

Russia invades Ukraine as Putin declares war to ‘demilitarise’ neighbour

By Luke Harding, Emma Graham-Harrison, Andrew Roth, Pjotr Sauer, Julian Border

24 Feb 2022 · 5 min read

Russian forces have unleashed an attack of Ukraine on the orders of Vladimir Putin, who announced a “special military operation” at dawn, amid warnings from world leaders that it could spark the biggest war in Europe since 1945.

Within minutes of Putin’s short televised address, at about 5am Ukrainian time, explosions were heard near major Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv.

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