Russia: Police grapple with anti-war protesters in Moscow
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In the early hours of Thursday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an attack on Ukraine by land, air and sea. The invasion followed a TV address in which President Putin demanded Ukraine’s military lay down its arms after weeks of escalating tensions. Intelligence suggests the army will force its way through Ukraine to capture the capital, Kyiv, where President Putin will attempt a regime change.
In Kyiv, home to almost three million people, warning sirens have been blaring out while crowds seek shelter in metro stations.
Kyiv resident Ksenia Wright (Ксения Райт) told Express.co.uk: “For now in the capital, in Kyiv, people are ready to fight for our country.
“I sit in my apartment hearing explosions and shooting, I’ve made an improvised bomb shelter in the wall niche inside my flat as I have four cats and I can’t leave them for the metro bomb shelter.
“If I will die I will die protecting and comforting them.
“It is scary but I am already psychologically ready for any scenario.”
The Russian army is making ground and fast approaching Kyiv.
On Thursday evening, Russian forces successfully captured the deadly nuclear power plant Chernobyl.
The Russian military seized the northern Ukrainian plant hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed his fighters would lay down their lives to keep it out of Russian hands and prevent a repeat of the 1986 nuclear disaster.
Chernobyl offers the shortest, most direct route to the capital Kyiv for Russian forces.
Fierce fighting has also broken out at an airbase on the outskirts of Kyiv and airstrikes are being launched.
Ksenia told Express.co.uk that the fierce attack took Ukrainians by surprise.
She said: “Nobody expected it! They did it in their favourite manner: in the middle of the night, out of the blue, from all sides and with heavy weapons.”
Ukraine has just 361,000 troops to Russia’s 900,000, but President Zelenskyy has vowed Ukraine will defend itself.
DON’T MISS: Putin declares Ukraine invasion with ‘chilling’ speech
His Government said weapons will be given to anyone who wants to defend their land.
Earlier in the day, gridlock traffic was seen as thousands of people attempted to flee the city.
The mayor of Kyiv has ordered a curfew in Ukraine’s capital from 10pm to 7am.
Ms Wright said: “From my window streets are empty, but I live almost in the centre.”
She said she and many others have no intention of fleeing.
She said: “Many people who have small kids and pets are staying here. I see posts on Facebook. Some leave but the majority stay.”
Asked what support she would like to see from the West, Ms Wright said: “Something that will make him stop immediately! But I doubt that is something that exists at all.”
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