Fighting breaks out near Chernobyl, says Ukrainian president

Russian soldiers have entered the area surrounding the former nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, the president of Ukraine has said.

Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that Ukrainian troops were fighting the Russian army, which had reached the area from the direction of Belarus.

“Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated,” Mr Zelensky said.

“This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe,” the president added.

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The development comes hours after Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

At the start of the conflict, Russia targeted air bases and military infrastructure in at least 25 Ukrainian cities in a bid to neuter the capabilities of the Ukrainian air force.

This map shows major cities in Ukraine as well as Moscow-backed separatist regions. As of early this week, rebels held only parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions highlighted

(The Independent)

CCTV footage showed a huge explosion after a missile appeared to strike the Odessa military base, with other blasts reported in cities including Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Dnipro and Mariupol.

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