Russia says Ukrainian troops have abandoned their positions as Kiev keeps situation ‘under control’

The Russian army claims On Thursday, Ukrainian troops abandoned their posts after President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Russia’s pro-Western neighbor, claims Kiev denies.

Ukraine’s military reported several casualties in early attacks that stretched from its eastern breakaway regions – which Putin recognized as independent this week – to western towns near the Polish border.

“Intelligence data shows that units and servicemen of the Ukrainian army are massively leaving their positions and abandoning their weapons,” the RBC news site quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.

He added that Russia does not attack “positions of Ukrainian army units that have laid down their arms”.

The Ukrainian army refuse claims, saying it repels missile strikes and artillery bombardment from Russia.

“The State Defense Forces are in full combat readiness, have occupied and maintain defensive positions,” the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said in a Facebook post.

“The situation is under control”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pledged Thursday to defend “our land” and urged Russians to stand up against war.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed earlier that its armed forces were not carrying out missile, air force or artillery attacks on Ukrainian cities despite explosions heard before dawn in cities such as Kiev, Odessa and Kharkiv, and authorities reported shelling and shooting in 17 of Ukraine’s 27 regions.

Hours later, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered to “act with respect” towards Ukrainian soldiers and to organize “safety corridors” for those who lay down their arms, said the army.

He said his forces had destroyed 11 Ukrainian airfields, three command posts, a naval base, 18 radar stations, an attack helicopter and four Turkish-made combat drones, as well as an S-300 and a Buk M-1 missiles.

Countries suspended flights to Ukraine and flight tracking services showed empty airspace over the country.

Zelenskiy declared martial law shortly after Putin’s speech ordering the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of the country, potentially sparking the biggest conflict on European soil since World War II.

The Russian Defense Ministry website has remained unavailable since the start of the military operation in Ukraine.

The United States and its Western allies have warned for months that Russia was mustering more than 100,000 troops with the intention of invading Ukraine.

Russia news

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