Russia attacks Ukraine

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Ed Upright, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Melissa Macaya and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 9:58 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022
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11:38 p.m. ET, February 23, 2022

Russian troops have landed in Odessa and are crossing the border, Ukrainian official says

An adviser for the Interior Minister of Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenko, has told journalists on an official WhatsApp group that Russian troops have landed in the city Odessa and are crossing the border in the city of Kharkiv. 

Gerashchenko added there have been missile strikes on the Vasilkovsky airfield near Kyiv. 

He also said that Borys Filatov, the mayor of Dnipro, just called to say he was hearing explosions.

11:32 p.m. ET, February 23, 2022

Ukrainian ambassador to the UN: It's "too late" for de-escalation

Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya
Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya (UNTV via AP)

Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya, warned it was "too late" for de-escalation at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council Wednesday night, as he urged other countries to help stop the conflict.

“Because it’s too late, my dear colleagues, to speak about de-escalation, too late,” he said. “The Russian president declared war."

Kyslytsya cited the UN charter and the stipulation that only peace-loving states would be admitted into the Security Council, and then asked the Russian ambassador to relinquish his role as council president.

Earlier Wednesday night, the Russian ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, defended Russia's military operation and denied that it was a "war," blaming the current tensions on Ukraine.

11:20 p.m. ET, February 23, 2022

European aviation regulators warn civilian planes could get shot down over Ukraine

From CNN's Pete Muntean

European aviation regulators say there is a “high risk” to civilian aircraft near the Ukrainian border, fearing they could be targeted on purpose at any altitude.

"Air operators are reminded that this is now an active conflict zone," says the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, known as EASA. 

The agency added that “operators should exercise extreme caution” and avoid using the airspace within 100 nautical miles of the Russia-Ukraine border.

“Critical infrastructure, including airports, are exposed to military activities which result in safety risks for civil aircraft,” said the EASA. “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.”

11:37 p.m. ET, February 23, 2022

Early US assessment is a full Russian invasion has begun, source says

From CNN's Jim Sciutto

The United States' early assessment of events underway in Ukraine is that this is the start of a full Russian invasion, according to a senior US official familiar with the latest US intelligence.

The source said the belief is that the explosions heard near Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, and the Black Sea port city of Odessa are likely missiles, while the ones around the northeastern city of Kharkiv are likely artillery given its proximity to the Russian border.

11:18 p.m. ET, February 23, 2022

Ukraine’s foreign minister tweets Putin has launched “full scale invasion of Ukraine”

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted early on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine."

"Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now," he tweeted.
11:20 p.m. ET, February 23, 2022

Ukrainian ambassador to the UN urges Security Council to "stop the war"

Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya
Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya (UNTV)

The Ukrainian ambassador to the United Nations urged other member nations to "stop the war," at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

"It is the responsibility of this body to stop the war. So I call on every one of you to do everything possible to stop the war," Sergiy Kyslytsya said to the council, before turning to face the Russian ambassador to the UN and asking: "Or should I play the video with your president declaring the war?"

The Russian ambassador responded, "This isn't called a war, this is called a special military operation in Donbas."

Early Thursday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in a televised address that troops were taking military action in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

CNN reporters and witnesses in cities across Ukraine have reported hearing explosions in the early hours of Thursday.

11:19 p.m. ET, February 23, 2022

US ambassador to UN says Putin's military operation is a "message of war"

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler and David Shortell

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield (UNTV)

The US Ambassador to the United Nations said Russian President Vladimir Putin had “delivered a message of war” by announcing his military operation in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

"In my remarks tonight, I said that we predicted Russia’s false flag attacks. The misinformation, the theatrical emergency meetings and cyber-attacks. But one piece had not come to pass. Unfortunately while we’ve been meeting in the Security Council tonight, it appears that President Putin has ordered that last step," said UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

"At the exact time as we are gathered in the council seeking peace, Putin delivered a message of war in total disdain for the responsibility for this council. This is a grave emergency. The council will need to act and we will put a resolution on the table tomorrow. As President Biden said tonight, Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring and the United States and our allies and partners will decide in a united and decisive way."

11:40 p.m. ET, February 23, 2022

Biden will deliver remarks tomorrow on Russia's military action

From CNN's DJ Judd

US President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on Thursday afternoon on Russia's decision to take military action in Ukraine, according to a White House official.

Biden will announce "further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for its unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine," said the official.

Shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the military operation early Thursday morning, Biden released a statement decrying Putin's choice as bringing "a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering."

11:02 p.m. ET, February 23, 2022

Ukraine's interior minister adviser: "Invasion has begun"

From Katya Krebbs in in Kyiv

An adviser for the Interior Minister of Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenko, said early on Thursday morning that Russia’s “invasion has begun,” with “missile strikes on Kyiv.”

Gerashchenko added on his Facebook page that control centers such as airfields and military headquarters are being hit by the shelling in Kyiv and Kharkiv, and that there is artillery fire along the border.