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
110 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:27 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022

This map shows where explosions have been reported

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

Here's where:

  • Kyiv: CNN reporters in Ukraine's capital heard explosions from the east in the direction of the city's international airport. Social media users reported hearing several explosions in the Boryspil area to the east of the capital, where the international airport is located about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the city. CNN has not confirmed that the airport has been targeted.  
  • Kharkiv: A CNN team in Ukraine's second biggest city, in the northeast of the country, heard a "steady stream of loud explosions."
  • Kramatorsk: Two people in the eastern city, located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of separatist-held Donetsk, told CNN they heard at least two massive explosions.
  • Dnipro: A resident of the central city told CNN they had heard "a few explosions."
  • Mariupol: Two residents told CNN they heard explosions east of the city, which is located in the southeast of the country.
  • Odessa: A CNN team in the Black Sea port city heard two groups of explosions about 20 minutes apart. 
  • Zaporizhzhia: A CNN team in the southeastern city said they heard at at least one very distant explosion.

Additionally, a CNN team in the Russian city of Belgorod, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Kharkiv, said they heard a regular stream of thuds that sounded like outgoing artillery fire.

12:30 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022

Top EU diplomat and European Council chief "strongly condemn" Russian attack

From CNN's Akanksha Sharma in Hong Kong

The European Union's High Representative Josep Borrell tweeted early Thursday morning, saying, “We strongly condemn Russia's unjustified 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,” Borrell said. “We will hold the Kremlin accountable.”

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, posted the same tweet minutes before Borrell.

12:18 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022

Ukraine's foreign minister says "world must act immediately"

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the world to "act immediately" in response to Russia's military operation in the country.

In a tweet on Thursday morning, Kuleba wrote:

"The world must act immediately. Future of Europe & the world is at stake. To do list: 
1. Devastating sanctions on Russia NOW, including SWIFT
2. Fully isolate Russia by all means, in all formats 
3. Weapons, equipment for Ukraine 
4. Financial assistance 
5. Humanitarian assistance"
12:17 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022

Air raid sirens are going off in Ukraine's capital Kyiv

An explosion is seen in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv early Thursday, February 24.
An explosion is seen in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv early Thursday, February 24. (from Ukrainian President’s Office)

A photo provided by the Ukrainian President’s office appears to show an explosion in the country's capital, Kyiv, early Thursday morning.

CNN teams in Kyiv have been hearing explosions near the capital since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his military operation in Ukraine.

CNN also heard air sirens sounding for several minutes in Kyiv around 7 a.m. local time (12 a.m. ET), which could be heard across the city. CNN teams did not see or hear incoming fire.

12:15 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022

Ukrainian mayor urges citizens not to "panic" and says "everything is in order"

From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv

The mayor of the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Thursday reassured citizens, telling them not to "panic" following Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a military operation in eastern Ukraine.

In a post on his official Facebook page, Dnipro Mayor Borys Fylatov said the city has “everything in order.”

“Countrymen, please don't panic. Soon, when the exact level of threat is clear for Dnipro — I will keep you updated. Believe me, no one could believe in such a level of cynicism, but everything is in order. Let's keep in touch. God and Truth is behind us.” Fylatov posted.

Some context: A Dnipro resident earlier told CNN they had heard "a few explosions" in the city.

12:14 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022

Russian military claims it is not targeting Ukrainian cities

From CNN's Nathan Hodge 

The Russian military released a statement Thursday claiming it was not targeting Ukrainian cities, as CNN teams on the ground report explosions around the country. 

"The Russian Armed Forces are not launching any missile or artillery strikes on the cities of Ukraine. High-precision weapons destroy military infrastructure: military airfields, aviation, air defense facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the statement read. "The civilian population is not at risk." 

CNN teams on the ground have reported explosions around Ukraine and outside of the Donbas region, where Putin announced a "special military operation" in the early hours of Thursday.

12:11 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022

People are going to work in Ukraine's Kramatorsk following reports of explosions in area, local official says

Though there have been several explosions reported around the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, it is currently calm and people are going to work as the sun rises, a local official said. 

There were two explosions in Kramatorsk about 5 a.m. local time (10 p.m. ET) and a few more just minutes ago, according to Tatanya Ignachenko, the press secretary of the civil-military administration Donetsk Oblast.

“There is no plan to evacuate people at this moment. It seems calm in Kramatorsk. People are going to the factory for their 6 a.m. shift,” she said. 
12:04 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022

Zelensky introduces martial law in Ukraine, urges calm

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky/Facebook

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has introduced martial law, and urged people to remain calm in a brief video address on Thursday morning.

Here's Zelensky's full statement:

“Dear Ukrainian citizens, this morning President Putin announced a special military operation in Donbas. Russia conducted strikes on our military infrastructure and our border guards. There were blasts heard in many cities of Ukraine. We’re introducing martial law on the whole territory of our country. A minute ago I had a conversation with President Biden. The US have already started uniting international support. Today each of you should keep calm. Stay at home if you can. We are working. The army is working. The whole sector of defense and security is working."
“No panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will win over everybody because we are Ukraine.”

12:07 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022

India's ambassador to UN: Ukraine situation is "in danger of spiraling into a major crisis"

From CNN’s Manveena Suri in New Delhi

India's Ambassador to the United Nations T. S. Tirumurti on Wednesday night said the situation in Ukraine is “in danger of spiraling into a major crisis.”

“The calls of the international community to give time to the recent initiatives undertaken by parties to defuse tensions were not heeded to,” Tirumurti said at an emergency UN Security Council meeting.
“We express our deep concern over the developments, which, if not handled carefully, may well undermine the peace and security of the region,” he noted, calling for “immediate de-escalation.”
“We believe the solution lies in sustained diplomatic dialogue between the concerned parties. In the meantime, we strongly emphasize the vital need for all sides to maintain international peace and security by exercising the utmost restraint.”

Tirumurti called on all parties concerned in the Ukraine-Russia crisis to refrain “from any further action that could contribute to a worsening of the situation.

“India has consistently advocated at the United Nations, the need for peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law and with agreements entered into by parties concerned,” he said.