Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinUkrainian state border service says troops attacked from BelarusMenendez: Need to expel Kremlin from international community is in ‘sharp focus’Lawmakers to receive briefing from Biden administration on ThursdayMORE early on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine, leading to international condemnation of what world leaders called the start of a Russian invasion of its nation.

Putin claimed in a televised address that the operation was aimed at protecting eastern Ukraine from what he called a regime, continuing the Kremlin’s disinformation claim.

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NATO adding troops in Eastern Europe after Russia attack on Ukraine


NATO on Thursday said it would take steps to boost deterrence and defense after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation in Ukraine.

The military alliance is putting over 100 warplanes on high alert and increasing its presence in its eastern flank, according to Reuters.

EU says it will ‘hold the Kremlin accountable’ for attack on Ukraine


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that the European Union would “hold the Kremlin accountable” for Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

“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,” she said on Twitter.

“We will hold the Kremlin accountable,” von der Leyen added in a tweet.

Roads blocked in Kyiv as residents flee


A massive traffic jam blocked a main road out in Kyiv on Thursday, hampering Ukrainians’ efforts to evacuate the capital as Russia launched attacks against multiple cities in the nation.

Vehicles stretched for dozens of kilometers, Reuters reported. People were seen carrying bags and suitcases as they looked for a way out of Kyiv.

Zelensky: Ukraine cuts diplomatic ties with Russia after invasion


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday announced his country was cutting diplomatic ties with Moscow amid Russia’s military invasion into Ukraine, according to The New York Times.

Zelensky made the announcement as an adviser said that over 40 Ukrainian soldiers had died in the assault and several more had been wounded, notes the Times.

Ukrainian officials say Russian helicopters attacked military airport near capital


Ukrainian officials said on Thursday that Russian forces attacked Gostomel, a military airport near Kyiv.

The officials added that Ukraine shot down three Russian helicopters in the attack, according to Reuters.

Airlines warned not to fly near Ukraine


The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is warning airlines not to fly over or near Ukraine as Russia attacks its neighbor, Reuters reports.

“In particular, there is a risk of both intentional targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft,” EASA warned in a conflict zone bulletin, according to the news service.

“The presence and possible use of a wide range of ground and airborne warfare systems poses a high risk for civil flights operating at all altitudes and flight levels,” EASA added.