NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has convened a
meeting of NATO ambassadors to assess the invasion of Ukraine, which borders
several NATO members.

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The meeting Thursday morning will
“address the situation in Ukraine and the consequences of Russia’s
unprovoked attack.”

Also Read: Ukraine reports 5 Russian planes and 1 helicopter shot down in Luhansk

Earlier, Stoltenberg had already condemned
Russia’s invasion. “Despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to
engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression,”
Stoltenberg said.

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He also warned Moscow that the alliance
will “do all it takes to protect and defend” NATO members.

Stoltenberg called the invasion a “grave breach
of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security. I call on
Russia to cease its military action immediately.”

Also Read:‘Catastrophic’ if Ukraine-Russia crisis escalates into war: UN chief

A top European Union official said the invasion
of Ukraine “will impose massive and severe consequences on Russia”
and that more sanctions will be in the offing.

The 27-nation bloc already issued sanctions
on Russia for its recognition of breakaway republics in Ukraine earlier this
week, and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and foreign policy chief Josep
Borrell “will outline a further sanctions package.”

Also Read: In Ukraine’s volatile east, a day of shelling, outages, fear

The 27 EU leaders will discuss them later
Thursday at a summit meeting and they could be imposed soon after.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the
Russian strikes have “suppressed air defence means of the Ukrainian
military,” adding that the infrastructure of Ukraine’s military bases has
been incapacitated.” It denied the claims that a Russian warplane was shot
down over Ukraine.

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The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, reported
that it has shot down five Russian aircraft while fending off the Russian
attack on the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced
that he unleashed an attack on Ukraine in a televised address early Thursday,
drawing international condemnation.

Also Read: Satellite images reveal new deployments by Russia on Ukraine border

China is advising its people in Ukraine to
stay home because of ongoing military actions and chaos but made no mention of
Russian forces.

The notice issued on its Kyiv embassy’s
social media accounts Thursday said: “Social order is chaotic and out of
control, especially in the cities where at times of serious unrest.”

Also Read: Russia closes flight paths along Ukraine border

It said a person walking on the streets
could be a target of attack and traffic could be stopped at any time. It added
that people should remain calm and contact local authorities if they come into