The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, is lit in the colors of the Ukraine national flag, February 23, 2022

See also EA on BBC: Putin’s War on Ukraine


A Ukrainian official says the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been captured by Russian forces.

“It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians,” said Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the Ukrainian Presidential office. “This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today.”

Military analysts say that, with the capture of the Chernobyl area, Russian forces have a land route without bridges to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.


Vladimir Putin has told Russian business people that Moscow can withdrawn economic punishment over his war in Ukraine.

“We all understand the world we live in and were prepared in one way or another for what is now happening from the point of view of sanctions policy,” Putin said. “Russia remains a part of the global economy.”

However, Alexander Shokhin, the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, showed concern. He warned new sanctions will be tougher than previous sets, possibly disrupting logistics and supply chains. He added Russia should stimulate extra demand for government debt from private investors amid Western sanctions on Russian finance of its sovereign debt.


A “senior US defense official” says the American assessment is of a Russian invasion to topple the Ukrainian Government, including through the advance on the capital Kyiv.

The indications we’ve seen thus far, in just these first, not even 12 hours, are in keeping with our assessment earlier, that would be his goal: to decapitate this government.

The official said Russia had launched more than 100 missiles, including cruise, surface-to-air, and sea-launched missiles, and used more than 75 warplanes.

The official said, “The targets thus far… have been primarily focused on military and air defense. So barracks, ammunition warehouses, nearly 10 airfields targeted.”


The leaders of the G7 countries — France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the UK, the US, and Canada — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, and NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg have issued a statement.

We condemn President Putin for his consistent refusal to engage in a diplomatic process to address questions pertaining to European security, despite our repeated offers.

We stand united with partners, including NATO, the EU and their member states as well as Ukraine and remain determined to do what is necessary to preserve the integrity of the rules-based international order.


Four people were killed and 10 injured when a Russian shell hit a hospital in Vuhledar in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian military command.

Six doctors are among the injured.

Ukrainian officials said Russia has carried out 203 attacks since the start of the day.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced a virtual summit, with Finland and Sweden joining NATO’s members, on Friday.

Stoltenberg noted Russian attacks from multiple directions, with air and ground forces and missiles, on military infrastructure and cities.

This is a brutal act of war. Our thoughts are with the brave people of Ukraine.

Sadly, what we have warned against for months has come to pass, despite all calls on Russia to change course and tireless efforts to seek a diplomatic solution.

Peace in our continent has been shattered. We now have war in Europe, on a scale and of a type we thought belonged to history.

This is a grave moment for the security of Europe….This is a deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion.

Speaking alongside Stoltenberg, the head of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, discussed the European Union’s impending sanctions on Russia.

These sanctions will suppress Russia’s economic growth, increase the borrowing costs, raise inflation, intensify capital outflow and gradually erode its industrial basis.

Our measures will weaken Russia’s technological position in key areas from which the elite makes most of their money – this ranges from high-tech components to cutting-edge software.


The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta has expressed dissent over Vladimir Putin’s war by announcing that its next edition will come out in Russian and Ukrainian languages.

Editor Dmitry Muratov explained that the dual-language publication was “because we will never see Ukraine as an enemy or Ukrainian as the language of the enemy”.

He called for demonstrations against the war.

Small groups of anti-war protesters are showing up in Moscow’s Red Square and are being detained immediately.

Monitoring group OVD-Info said more than 650 people were detained as demonstrations were staged in 40 different locations, including Moscow.


Russian forces are advancing on Kyiv. They have seized Hostomel Airport less than 40 km west of the capital, in an attack by Mi-8 helicopters.

The airport can be used as a staging point to bring in special forces, weapons, and vehicles for a ground assault.

One helicopter was downed and its pilot captured.

Russian forces are moving up the Dnieper River towards Kyiv, supporting themselves with anti-air defense systems brought in from Crimea to the south.

From Avdiivka in Donetsk Province in eastern Ukraine, a Ukrainian lieutenant colonel sends the forlorn message:


In a sign of Vladimir Putin’s gamble with the Russian economy, the rouble has sunk to an all-time low, forcing intervention by the Central Bank.

Currency exchanges have stopped trading roubles for dollars and euros.

The Bank’s intervention is the first since 2014, when Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimea.

The rouble is now 89.60:1 v. the US dollar and almost 100:1 v. the euro. It has fallen about 20% since October.


Local sources are reporting Russian tanks on the streets of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.


China has refused to use the term “invasion” for Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.

Spokeswoman Hua Chunying invoked a “complex historical background” and blamed the US and other countries for tensions and incitement of war. She then said, “China again calls for all sides to not close the doors on peace and stay committed to dialogue and negotiation.”


Vladimir Putin’s war is not supported by all Russians.

On a Moscow pedestrian street, Ksenia Fadeeva told The Guardian’s Pjotr Sauer, “I didn’t think Putin would be willing to go all the way. How can we bomb Ukraine? We have our disagreements, but this is not to a way to solve them.”

Nikita Golubev said, “I am embarrassed for my country. To be honest with you, I am speechless. War is always scary. We don’t want this.”

Meanwhile, Tatyana added, “I couldn’t believe the news I read this morning. A war with Ukraine? What are we doing? I feel powerless.”

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Cultural Center in central Moscow expressed exasperation when asked why it is shut today: “We are being bombed as we speak. Of course we are closed! Jesus, what is happening?”


Video indicates that, despite Russian claims, Moscow is striking civilian areas in cities.

In Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, images showed the tail fin of a Smerch rocket which failed to explode on impact. It embedded in the pavement close to an Orthodox church in the city center.

Police officers inspect the remnants of a Russian missile fired on Kyiv (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters):

Police officers inspect the remnants of a Russian missile fired on Kyiv


Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has now spoken with the leaders of the US, Germany, Poland, the UK, and the European Union.


There are conflicting claims from Russia and Ukraine over the initial stage of the Russian attacks.

Moscow says it has neutralized the Ukrainian Air Force with its bombing and missile strikes. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry says its forces have shot down five Russian warplanes and a helicopter.


Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, the heads of the European Commission and Council, say in a statement:

We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unprecedented military aggression against Ukraine. By its unprovoked and unjustified military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law and undermining European and global security and stability.

We call on Russia to immediately cease the hostilities, withdraw its military from Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. Such use of force and coercion has no place in the 21st century.

Michel is convening an extraordinary meeting of the European Council as EU leaders discuss the crisis. Von der Leyen will announce expanded sanctions on Russia later today.


Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has called US President Joe Biden.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister has set out a list of necessary responses to the Russian assault.

In a brief address to the nation, Zelensky announced martial law and called for calm: “The army works. I will be with you all the time. Stay strong. We will win because we are Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine.”

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia has launched its war on Ukraine.

Shortly after 6 a.m. local time on Thurs, the first Russian bombs and missiles struck near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Explosions were also reported, but unconfirmed, in Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, the ports of Mariupol and Odessa, and Kramatorsk.

An unconfirmed account said there was gunfire near Kyiv’s Boryspil airport. Ukrainian officials said Russian forces were landing in Odessa and Mariupol, and crossing the border towards Kharkiv.

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted about the assault:

United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres has made a direct plea to Russian present Putin, saying: “In the name of humanity bring your troops back to Russia.”

Guterres, who has served as secretary-general since 2017, added that today’s actions are the “saddest moment in my tenure”.

Hours earlier, at a UN Security Council session, Guterres sent a message to Russian leader Vladimir Putin: “Stop your troops from attacking Ukraine. Give peace a chance. Too many people have already died.”

US President Joe Biden issued a statement:

The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces.

President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.

Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.

Biden said he will consult with counterparts of the G7 countries before addressing the nation about the “further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression”.

The Europeah Union’s commission chief Ursula Von der Leyen wrote:

In these dark hours, our thoughts are with Ukraine and the innocent women, men and children as they face this unprovoked attack and fear for their lives.

We will hold the Kremlin accountable.

“Wholly Unprovoked Attack”

The assault followed a rambling 40-minute speech by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who repeated his invective against Ukraine and said he was ordering operations to “demilitarize” the country. He added that any foreign intervention would lead to “consequences they have never seen”.

Putin’s address interrupted the emergency session of the UN Security Council.

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya insisted that the attacks were justified under the “self-defense” provision of Article 51 of the UN Charter: “The root of today’s crisis around Ukraine is the actions of Ukraine itself, who for many years were sabotaging its obligations.”

He asserted that Moscow was protecting residents in the east of the country, in the areas controlled by Russian proxy groups, “who for eight years have been cowering from Ukraine’s shelling.”

The claims were immediately rebuffed by representatives of other countries. The UK Ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, wrote:

“The Ukrainian People Are Free”

Early Thursday morning, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a passionate 10-minute speech to the nation, appealing to Russians not to accept Putin’s war.

Zelensky noted that he had tried to speak with Putin, but the Russian leader had not even taken the call.

The Ukrian President continued:

The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace….[But] if someone attempts to take away our land, our freedom, our lives, the lives of our children, we will defend ourselves.

By attacking, you will see our faces, not our backs.

He addressed Russians, “Who can stop this? People. These people are among you, I am sure.”