In pictures: Russia declares war on Ukraine

Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine early on Thursday, after president Vladimir Putin warned foreign countries against interfering, saying it would lead to “consequences you have never seen”.

Big explosions were heard in Kiev, Kharkiv, and Odessa as world leaders condemned the invasion that could potentially lead to mass casualties and topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government, while threatening the post-Cold War balance.

Sounds of blasts were picked up by news channels broadcasting live from the country, including by CNN, causing reporter Matthew Chance to put on a flak jacket.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law following Russia’s military strike on the country. He also urged citizens to not panic, as a number of Ukrainians started to flee the cities.

“We are working. The army is working,” he said. “Don’t panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will defeat everyone. Because we are Ukraine.”

Smoke rises from the territory of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry’s unit in Kyiv

(REUTERS)

A man from neighboring Ukraine, kisses his daughter at a train station that was turned into an accommodation center in Przemysl, Poland

(AP)

People walk on the street after crossing the Slovak-Ukrainian Internation crossing border on 24 February 2022

(Getty Images)

A couple hugs in Central Kiev as bombs rain down in the capital

(AFP via Getty Images)

Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv on 24…

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