Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Wednesday night, ending weeks of diplomatic stalemate and plunging Eastern Europe into a nightmare of violence and bloodshed
The Russian leader claimed Russia was undertaking a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” the country under the guise Russia was defending itself.
Putin announced the operation in a live televised speech that aired before 6 a.m. local time, threatening countries that attempt to interfere with “consequences they have never seen.
Immediately following the speech, explosions were reported in the capital city Kyiv, Kramatorsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, and Mariupol
Ukrainian airspace was closed to civilian aircraft as the region was considered an active conflict zone.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency issued an alert saying there is a risk of “both intentional targeting and misidentification” of civilian aircraft.
The country also imposed martial law Wednesday night as Russian forces launched offenses across the country
A nationwide state of emergency had been in effect, giving officials extra powers to impose restrictions.
Under martial law, military leaders are the absolute authorities of Ukraine’s civilians.
Putin said the Kremlin has no intention of occupying the country, placing blame for any potential bloodshed on the Ukrainian “regime.”
International intelligence has long expected the Russian leader to use “false flag” operations to justify its aggression against Ukraine.