The tensions between Ukraine and Russia escalated after Russian forces invaded Ukraine from three sides, while explosions rang through a number of cities, including the capital Kyiv, in a broad attack that began before dawn on Thursday. The West condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for this invasion.
What happened overnight
CNN teams heard explosions in and near multiple Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, the second-largest city Kharkiv, Odessa, and distant firing from Zaporizhzhia. Images released by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office showed large explosions to the east of the capital Kyiv with huge columns of smoke rising into the air.
Ukrainian officials said more than 40 soldiers and as many as 10 civilians had been killed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began shortly before dawn.
Protests erupt in Russia
Russian riot police were urging the protesters to leave Pushkinskaya Square in Moscow. CNN’s Nic Robertson and team on the ground have to witness people being detained by police. Some are carrying signs with messages, including multiple signs saying “no to war.” Russian authorities on Thursday warning citizens that participating in anti-war investigations could lead to prosecution and criminal charges.
At least 1,675 people have been detained today at anti-war protests all over Russia, with at least 919 of them in Moscow, according to independent monitoring group OVD-Info.
Russian forces took control of a Ukrainian air base near Kyiv and the Chernobyl nuclear plant
Russian forces have seized control of the Chernobyl power plant in northern Ukraine, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, according to the agency that manages the area. Troops overran the plant on the first day of Russia’s multi-pronged invasion of Ukraine, a spokesperson for the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, Yevgeniya Kuznetsovа, told CNN.
Russian airborne troops have taken control of the Antonov Airport, which is about 25 miles away from the center of Kyiv, Ukraine, CNN’s Matthew Chance reported Thursday. “The helicopter-borne troops were landed in the early hours of the morning to make and perform an air bridge to allow for more troops to come in,” he reported.
US announces sanctions against Russia
US President Joe Biden said Thursday that the newly announced sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine will take some time to have their full impacts felt by Russia and its economy. The President also said that the sanctions are critical for sending a message to Putin. “If we don’t move against him now with these significant sanctions, he will be emboldened,” Biden said.
Read the full list of all US sanctions against Russia here.
World leaders consider additional actions
US President Joe Biden says he agreed with fellow G7 leaders “to move forward on devastating packages of sanctions and other economic measures to hold Russia to account.”
The United Kingdom is set to sanction 100 people and entities as part of further sanctions against Russia, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Thursday afternoon.
In a speech to the UK, the prime minister said the UK is announcing the “largest and most severe package of sanctions that Russia has ever seen.”
European Union leaders have been considering what some are calling the “nuclear option” of removing Russia from SWIFT, a high security network that connect thousands of financial institutions around the world, following the invasion of Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden said Thursday that removing Russia from SWIFT is not the direction the rest of Europe wants to go in at this moment, but noted that taking the nation out of the network is “always an option.”
Looking for more detail? Here’s a timeline of how things unfolded.