As Putin authorises special operation, explosions rock Ukraine's key airport, military facilities
Kyiv, February 24, 2022
Shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a "special military operation" in the conflict-hit Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, a series of explosions hit Ukraine's largest airport Boryspil and several military facilities in eastern and southern regions of the country on Thursday, according to Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
The Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry said it was evacuating passengers and staff from Boryspil, reports Xinhua news agency citing media outlets.
Media reports said there were also attacks in Kharkiv city in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, in Kramatorsk town in the frontline in eastern Ukraine, in Vasylkiv city near Kyiv, in Dnipro city in central Ukraine as well as in the southern port city of Odessa.
Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request from the heads of the Donbas Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, he had decided to conduct a special military operation to protect the people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Ukrainian regime for eight years".
The Russian leader reiterated that Moscow had no plans "to occupy Ukrainian territories".