By the orders of Vladimir Putin, the Russian armed forces are conducting military operations in Ukraine, carrying out air strikes on various targets throughout the country, including in Kiev and Kharkov. There are reports of Russian troops invading across Ukraine's borders with annexed Crimea, Russia and Belarus.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a "special military operation" in Ukraine. At 5:30 am Moscow time, Russian TV channels broadcast Putin's address. He said that Russia began hostilities, as the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics asked for help.
To protect people who "are subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime," Putin said, Russia will seek "the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine." Ukraine called what is happening a "war of conquest."
The US and UK have already described Russia's actions as an attack on Ukraine. There are reports of explosions near Kiev and in the area of other Ukrainian cities.