Russia – Ukraine invasion LIVE: Putin's forces capture Chernobyl after brutal battle as war rages in Europe

RUSSIA has this evening CAPTURED Chernobyl after launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Reports just after 7pm Ukraine time (5pm GMT) claimed Russian forces had taken workers at the former nuclear power plant hostage.

An adviser to the Ukrainian President, Mykhailo Poldoliak, told reporters: "After a fierce battle, our control over the Chernobyl site was lost.

"The condition of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, confinement, and nuclear waste storage facilities is unknown."

Vladimir Putin this morning declared a “special military operation” in Ukraine with a dawn raid after months of amassing his forces on the border and brazenly lying to the world about his plans to invade.

The world today woke up to what could the most horrific military crisis since World War 2 as Putin seeks to tear down the world order.

Read our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up to the minutes updates…

  • Jennifer Korn

    In pictures: Hundreds seek shelter

    Hundreds of people are seeking shelter underground in the metro subway station, with many on the platforms, inside the dark train cars, and even in the emergency exits.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Ukrainian men banned from leaving

    Ukraine's state border guard service (DPSA) announced that all men aged between 18 and 60 are temporarily banned from leaving the country.

    The DPSA said the measure was put forth to ensure the country's defense, and it will remain in effect for as long as the martial law is still in place.

  • Jennifer Korn

    In pictures: Protestors at the US White House

    A crowd of demonstrators gathered outside the US White House to demand the withdrawal of Russia.

    US President Biden announced new sanctions earlier today.

    Demonstrators protest in support of Ukraine in front of the White House, in Washington, DCCredit: Oliver Doulery/AFP via Getty Images
    Protestors gathered at the White House on February 24, 2022.Credit: Chris Kleponis/Splash News
  • Jennifer Korn

    In pictures: Ukrainians gather near Libson's City Hall

    Dozens of Ukrainians have gathered in Lisbon, Portugal, near Lisbon's City Hall, which was illuminated with the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

    Russian troops launched a military operation on Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Credit: EPA/MIGUEL A. LOPES
  • Jennifer Korn

    US cuts off high-tech exports

    US President Joe Biden issued new sanctions against Russia on Thursday, amid the country's invasion of Ukraine.

    The harsh new sanctions include export blocks on technology, which Biden said would limit Russia's ability to further its military.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Boris blasts Putin and says 'blood will be on his hands'

    Blasting warmongering Putin, Mr Johnson told MPs: "He will never be able to cleanse the blood of Ukraine from his hands.

    "And although the UK and our allies tried every avenue for diplomacy until the final hour, I'm driven to conclude that Putin was always determined to attack his neighbour, no matter what we did.

    "Now we see him for what he is – a bloodstained aggressor who believes in imperial conquest."

  • Joseph Gamp

    France's Macron holds 'exhaustive and serious conversation' with Putin

    Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone to French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday and gave him an "exhaustive" explanation of the reasons for Russia's actions in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

    The Kremlin said the call took place at Macron's initiative, and he and Putin agreed to stay in contact.

    Macron undertook strenuous diplomacy in recent weeks to try to avert a Russian invasion of Ukraine, including holding talks with Putin in the Kremlin.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Boris Johnson hits Putin with 10 sanctions

    THE Government today unveiled 10 sanctions:

    1. Individual sanctions against more than 100 Russian oligarchs and their entities
    2. Banning Russia's flag carrier Aeroflot from landing in the UK
    3. An asset freeze for all major Russian banks including giant VTB
    4. Legislation banning Russian firms from raising finance on UK markets
    5. Ban dual export licences to Russia from today
    6. Banning high-tech exports to Russia
    7. Limit the amount Russians can deposit in UK bank accounts
    8. Shut off Russia's access to the Swift global payment system
    9. Extend these sanctions to co-aggressors Belarus
    10. Bring forward the Economic Crime Bill to make it easier to go after dirty money 
  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia-Ukraine invasion: Key Developments today

    • Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine under the guise of a "special military operation"
    • Missiles, airstrikes and bombs began raining down on Ukrainian cities in the early hours
    • The Kremlin tyrant told Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their weapons and return to their families
    • He warned that any other nations that interfere will face "defeat and dire consequences"
    • In a sobering national address Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed his citizens will fight for their homeland
    • Liz Truss ended her "heated meeting" with the Russian ambassador early
    • Joseph Gamp

      Around 1,000 displaced in Ukraine, says UN refugee agency

      The UN refugee agency said around 100,000 people had fled their homes in Ukraine.

      Several thousand more had left the country since neighbouring Russia invaded earlier today.

      UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo said: "We believe that some 100,000 people must have already left their homes and may be displaced inside the country, and several thousand have crossed international borders."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Ukraine confirms 57 dead after first day of Russian invasion

      Ukraine's Health Minister Oleh Lyashko said 57 people had been killed today.

      A further 169 wounded were recorded on Thursday after Russia launched a full scale invasion of Ukraine.

      Separately, the deputy defence minister reported heavy Russian shelling was still underway in the eastern Donetsk region.

    • Joseph Gamp

      'Terrified' Ukrainian protesters call on UK to 'stop Putin'

      Ukrainian protesters in London said they are "heartbroken" and "terrified" as they called on the UK to do more to stop Vladimir Putin taking over their country.

      Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside Downing Street on Thursday afternoon to call for more drastic action from Britain and the international community, including "total isolation of Russia" as its troops invade Ukraine.

      The crowd sang the Ukrainian national anthem and chanted: "Stop Putin. Stop the war", and "Ukraine is not Russia".

      People also held up placards with images of Mr Putin saying "terrorist", "killer", and "Putin! Get out of Ukraine".

      Natalia Ravlyuk, a volunteer who helped organise the protest, told the PA news agency: "We want the toughest sanctions and total isolation of Russia now."

      She said: "We feel very angry, we feel very anxious and we feel betrayed by democratic states because we have been talking about this war for eight years. They just need to wake up and stop Putin now."

    • Joseph Gamp

      PM to hold COBRA committee meeting this evening

      Boris Johnson is to lead another meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee to discuss the Ukraine crisis, followed by a meeting of the Cabinet, Downing Street has said.

      The Prime Minister's official spokesman said Cobra will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday – after his Commons statement – with Cabinet following at 8.30pm.

      The spokesman said Whitehall departments – including No 10 – will fly the Ukrainian flag and will be lit up in yellow and blue on Thursday evening in a gesture of solidarity.

    • Joseph Gamp

      In pictures: Downing Street lit up in Ukrainian colours

      he colours of the Ukrainian flag are projected onto the front of 10 Downing Street, in central London, in support of Ukraine, under attack from Russia.

      Britain on Thursday imposed a biting package of sanctions on Russia that Boris Johnson said would degrade its economy "for years to come".

      The PM will hold a Cobra meeting at 7.30pm this evening, an official spokesperson has said.

      NINTCHDBPICT000714344680Credit: AFP
    • Joseph Gamp

      Breaking: Russian forces capture Chernobyl

      A FIERCE battle is raging in the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone tonight after Russian troops stormed into Ukraine from Belarus.

      Guards fought back as officials warned a direct hit on waste stores could spread a radioactive dust cloud over the whole of Europe.

      Reports just after 7pm Ukraine time (5pm GMT) claimed Russian forces had taken workers at the former nuclear power plant hostage.

      An adviser to the Ukrainian President, Mykhailo Poldoliak, told reporters: "After a fierce battle, our control over the Chernobyl site was lost.

      "The condition of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, confinement, and nuclear waste storage facilities is unknown."

      Read more here.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Ukraine’s defiant response

      Defiant Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

      “Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now.”

      President Voldymyr Zelenskyy said that “the Ukrainian people want peace,” and that his government was “doing everything it can to build it” after Putin refused to speak to him last night.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Britain announces second wave of sanctions

      Britain announced a second package of sanctions on Thursday after Moscow launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday.

      Those subject to immediate sanctions include VTB Bank and state conglomerate Rostec.

      The package of individuals, entities and subsidiaries would eventually exceed 100 listings.

      Airline Aeroflot would also be banned from landing in Britain. 

    • Joseph Gamp

      Mapped: Domestic flights diverted around Ukraine

      The image below, taken from flight-tracking website FlightRadar24, shows domestic aircraft diverting around Ukraine.

      Airline traffic in the early hours of this morning skirted the whole country in crowded corridors to the north and west of the besieged nation.

       Britain, Canada, France, Italy and the United States told their airlines to avoid certain airspace above eastern Ukraine and Crimea but stopped short of a total ban.

    • Joseph Gamp

      In pictures: Bloodied civilians as Russia hits apartment block in Kyiv

      Horror pictures show the devastating impacts of Vladimir Putin's war as civilians were left covered in blood and weeping for lost loved ones.

      Photos from airstrikes across Ukraine show the already disastrous human cost of the Russian invasion that has left the world stunned.

      At least 10 civilians are reported to have already been killed – but this number is expected to rise amid the full-scale invasion.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Liz Truss: Moscow should expect a 'long, protracted conflict with vast costs'

      Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told Russian ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin that Moscow should expect a "long, protracted conflict" with vast costs.

      A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "The Foreign Secretary said the Russian government had repeatedly lied about having no plans to invade Ukraine, and its unprovoked aggression had made it an international pariah.

      "She condemned Russia's outrageous attack on Ukraine as a clear breach of international law.

      "She reiterated there would be severe sanctions in retribution for the invasion, which will inflict pain on the Russian economy and those closely associated with the Kremlin.

      "She added that Russia should expect a long, protracted conflict that would inflict a huge human, economic and political cost on the Russian government. She said allies and partners are united in support for Ukraine, providing economic and defensive support."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Russian invaders STORM Chernobyl 

      A BATTLE was raging in the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone today after Russian troops stormed in from Belarus.

      Ukrainian guards were fighting back, and officials warned a direct hit on a waste storage facility could spread a radioactive dust cloud over the whole of Europe.

      The invasion from Belarus came as Vladimir Putin's troops simultaneously surged into Ukraine from the east and south after a cruise missile blitz.

      Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Russian occupation troops are trying to capture the Chernobyl site close to the Belarus border.

      Forces were said to be fighting close to the giant sarcophagus entombing the reactor that exploded in the world's worst nuclear disaster.

      Mr Zelensky said Ukrainian guards were "giving their lives" to prevent a repeat of the 1986 catastrophe.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Kremlin claims it is only 'targeting air bases and military assets'

      The Kremlin has claimed it is only targeting Ukrainian air bases and other military assets, not populated areas, but Kyiv said at least 40 people have died so far.

      In a televised address, Mr Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to "consequences they have never seen".

      He said Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine, and claimed responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian "regime".

      Explosions could be heard in Kyiv moments later, while blasts were also reported in the cities of Odesa and Kharkiv.

      Elsewhere, footage appeared to show queues of people fleeing their homes, and Russian military crossing the border into Ukraine.

      A Ministry of Defence intelligence update at around 12.30pm said there had been more than 80 strikes at Ukrainian targets, while ground forces were advancing across the border from at least three points including from the previously annexed Crimea.

    • Joseph Gamp

      PM: Putin's barbaric venture 'must end in failure'

      Earlier today, Boris Johnson vowed that Britain "cannot and will not just look away" from Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and pledged to unite with allies to respond with a massive package of sanctions designed to "hobble the Russian economy".

      In a televised statement at midday on Thursday, the Prime Minister said the world cannot stand by and allow the freedom of Ukraine to be "snuffed out", as Moscow hit its neighbour with a wide-ranging attack, targeting cities and bases with air strikes or shelling.

      "This act of wanton and reckless aggression is an attack not just on Ukraine, it's an attack on democracy and freedom in eastern Europe and around the world," Mr Johnson said from Downing Street.

      The Prime Minister criticised the Russian president for having "unleashed war in our European continent", attacking Ukraine "without any provocation and without any credible excuse".

      Mr Johnson, who earlier chaired an emergency meeting of the Cobra committee, said: "Innumerable missiles and bombs have been raining down on an entirely innocent population.

      "A vast invasion is under way by land, by sea and by air. We, and the world, cannot allow that freedom just to be snuffed out. We cannot and will not just look away.

      "Today in concert with our allies we will agree a massive package of economic sanctions designed in time to hobble the Russian economy. Diplomatically, politically, economically, and eventually, militarily, this hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure."

    • Joseph Gamp

      In pictures: Thousands of Ukrainian citizens flee Kyiv by road

      There is ongoing traffic chaos in Kyiv as residents leave after the Russian attacks.

       People were seen moving about the city quickly, but calmly, as at times sirens sounded air raid warnings whirred through the air.

      Russian troops entered Ukraine while the country's President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation to announce the imposition of martial law.

      NINTCHDBPICT000714306831Credit: Doug Seeburg
    • Joseph Gamp

      Denmark to deploy soldiers to Estonia in wake of Russia's invasion

      Denmark will increase its contributions to NATO forces by deploying around 200 soldiers to Estonia as well as two F-16 fighter jets to perform aerial policing in Poland's air space.

      The government confirmed the move on Thursday as a response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

      The decisions would need parliamentary approval, which the government will seek later on Thursday.

      Source: Read Full Article