Russia President Vladimir Putin on Thursday authorised
his country’s military forces to run a ‘special operation’ in Ukraine. “I
have made the decision of a military operation,” he said in a televised
address, Russian news agency TASS reported. With Ukraine fearing a Russian
invasion, Kremlin had earlier announced rebel-held provinces independent and
sent forces to protect them. 

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Here are seven latest developments on the
Russia-Ukraine crisis:

1. US President Joe Biden warned of “catastrophic
loss of life” after NATO announced that Russia began attacking Ukraine.
“I’ll be monitoring the situation from White House this evening and get regular
updates from my national security team. Tomorrow, I’ll meet with my G7
counterparts in the morning… We’ll coordinate with our NATO allies,” Biden

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2. “Kiev is continuing its military build-up
along the line of disengagement” and “republics are experiencing the
destruction of civil and industrial infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and
kindergartens”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on rebel leaders’
request for Russia support. Blasts were heard early on Thursday in the rebel-held eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk.

Also Read: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky warns Russia, says “we will defend ourselves”

3. As Russia attacked Ukraine a growing number of
countries including China spoke for Ukraine’s sovereignty at the UN.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has asked for Russia to stop its troops
from attacking Ukraine.

4. Cyberattacks reportedly continue in Ukraine as the
number of Russian troops attacked Ukraine. Cybersecurity firm ESET’s
researchers were quoted as saying by news agency Reuters that hundreds of
computers were hit across the country with malware.

Also Read: Russian President Vladimir Putin announces military operation in Ukraine

5. The European Union has imposed several sanctions on
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu and military chiefs, news agency AFP
reported. The EU brought visa bans into force on the commanders of Russia’s
army, navy and air force by the 27-nation bloc.

6. The US has accused Russia and China of trying to
create a profoundly “illiberal world order”. “We think that
Russia and the PRC also want a world order. But this is an order that is and
would be profoundly illiberal, an order that stands in contrast to the system
that countries around the world … have built in the last seven decades. It is
an order that is in many ways destructive, rather than additive,” US State
Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

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7. What followed was a series of sanctions by nations
across the world on Russia and global condemnation. Ukraine on Wednesday
announced a 30-day emergency. Kremlin has been repeating that it does not plan
to invade Ukraine.