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Ukraine FM says Russia carrying out ‘full-scale attack’

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday Russia was carrying out a full-scale offensive from multiple directions and that Ukrainian forces were resisting the attack.

“No, this is not a Russian invasion only in the east of Ukraine, but a full-scale attack from multiple directions,” Kuleba said on Twitter.

The minister also called on its allies to sever diplomatic ties with Russia, the RIA news agency reported on Thursday.

The Russian army also said Thursday that Moscow-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine were advancing and had gained territory after the Kremlin launched an attack on the country.

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Military spokesman Igor Konashenkov told state television that forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic gained “up to three kilometres” (1.8 miles) in territory and those of the Lugansk People’s Republic “advanced one and a half kilometres.”

He added that Russia had “high precision weapons” and that Ukrainian civilians had “nothing to fear.”

Konashenkov said the Russia-backed rebel troops are “now fighting and inflicting ... damage on the enemy.”

More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers and around 10 civilians died in the first hours of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters on Thursday.

“I know that more than 40 have been killed and several dozen wounded. I am aware of nearly 10 civilian losses,” presidential administration aide Oleksiy Arestovych told reporters.

Regional authorities of Ukraine’s southern Odessa region also said on Thursday that 18 people were killed in a missile attack.

At least six people were killed in Ukraine’s town of Brovary, located near the capital of Kyiv, authorities from the town said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he was launching an offensive on Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday.

Russia’s defense ministry said on Thursday its armed forces were providing supporting fire to Moscow-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine as they undertook an offensive, the TASS news agency reported.

He did so after recognizing the two rebel republics in eastern Ukraine and signing friendship treaties with them.

Read more:

Russian ground forces cross into Ukraine as death toll climbs

Explosions heard across Ukraine as Russian military operation begins

Russia’s Putin announces military operation in Ukraine

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