Russia launches invasion of Ukraine as world leaders vow to punish Putin

Russia unleashed all-out war on Ukraine from land, sea and air on Thursday, attacking targets all around the country including the capital Kiev, pushing Europe towards its most ruinous conflict since 1945 and prompting international fury at the actions of president Vladimir Putin.

Officially, at least 40 Ukrainian lives, including civilians, have already been lost to the conflict, but that number is certain to grow much higher as the conflict rages. Ukraine claims to have killed 50 Russians.

The fallout from the conflict was immediate, with fears that fighting could escalate beyond Ukraine’s borders, Nato rushing to give its support to members of the alliance located close to Russia, western leaders vowing to impose more sanctions upon Moscow, European nations warning of a looming refugee crisis, energy prices jumping and global stock markets tumbling.

The attack was launched after months of Russia building up troops along Ukraine’s borders – forces it long claimed were on exercise – and after weeks of denial that they would invade. The devastating assault began early on Thursday morning with a defiant Mr Putin, head of the country with a huge arsenal of nuclear warheads, warning the international community not to interfere as the repercussions would be severe.

“If you do you will face consequences greater than any of you have faced in history,” he said.

He vowed “to defend people who have been victims” of “the Kiev regime” and “demilitarise and de-Nazify…

READ FULL STORY AT independent.co.uk

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