The Russian Defence Ministry said the operation is targeting the military infrastructure of Ukraine and the civilian population is not in danger. Moscow says it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.
Also on Thursday, US President Joe Biden authorised new sanctions against Russia, targeting critical industries and several individuals. He also said that the deployment of additional US forces to Germany to reinforce NATO's presence on its eastern flank has been authorised.
In a recent video address, President Putin said, "the events today are not about the desire to harm the interests of Ukraine and Ukrainians. This is about defending Russia itself from those who hold Ukraine hostage and try to use it against our country and its people. Let me repeat myself, our actions are self-defence against the threats to us and the bigger problem than the one we are facing now".
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