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Russian MoD: Forces Destroy 18 Ukrainian Tanks, 7 Multiple Rocket Systems, and 41 Motor Vehicles

© REUTERS / UKRAINIAN NAVAL FORCESA service member of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry Corps (Marine Corps) rides a tank during drills at a training ground in an unknown location in Ukraine, in this handout picture released February 18, 2022
A service member of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry Corps (Marine Corps) rides a tank during drills at a training ground in an unknown location in Ukraine, in this handout picture released February 18, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a special operation in Ukraine, which he said is aimed at protecting the residents of the two breakaway regions – Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Moscow stressed that there is no threat to the civilian population as forces are only targeting military infrastructure in Ukraine.
Forty-one Ukrainian military vehicles, 18 tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, 7 multiple rocket systems, and 5 combat boats have been destroyed by Russian forces, the country's Ministry of Defence said on Friday
Earlier on Friday, a spokesman for the Russian military, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said Russian paratroopers had taken control of the area of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which is located around 100 kilometres from the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

"An agreement was reached with the servicemen of a separate battalion protecting the nuclear power plant of Ukraine on joint security of the power units and the sarcophagus of the Chernobyl NPP", Konashenkov said.

The Ministry of Defence also reported that the 36th brigade of Ukrainian forces has surrendered as well as 82 servicemen on Snake Island, in the Black Sea.
The news comes amid a special operation conducted by Russia in Ukraine. It was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday. The Russian head of state said he made the decision after the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, two breakaway regions that announced their independence from Ukraine in 2014, asked Moscow for help.
Earlier this month, the LPR and DPR said that Kiev had shelled their territories, prompting the republics to order the evacuation of the civilian population to Russia.
On 21 February, President Putin recognised the independence of the LPR and DPR, and in a televised address to the Russian population on Thursday, he announced a special operation aimed at protecting the residents of the two republics from the genocide being waged on them by the Ukrainian authorities.

"To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation", President Putin said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described Russia's special operation as a "full-scale invasion" of Ukraine. In a televised address to the nation, he said 137 servicemen had been killed, while 316 were injured. Thirteen border guards were killed on Snake Island (also known as Serpent Island), the Ukrainian head of state said.
He also stated that Russian forces had conducted strikes on civilian objects, including in residential areas of the capital Kiev. The Russian Defence Ministry stated that it is only conducting strikes on military infrastructure and that there is no threat to civilians. The ministry has not released any information on casualties or injured servicemen.
Moscow's actions have been condemned by several countries, including Australia, Britain Canada, the Czech Republic, Japan, members of the European Union, and the United States. Western nations have since imposed harsh sanctions on Moscow targeting its banks, businesses, government officials, as well as individuals close to President Vladimir Putin. Reports say the European Union may introduce punitive measures against the president himself.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called Russia's actions wrong and called on President Putin to stop the special operation.
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Protests against the military operation in Ukraine were held in 44 Russian cities, including the capital Moscow.
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