Ukraine Invasion: Russia claims to have knocked out Ukraine air defenses
KYIV, Ukraine - The Russian military announced early Thursday morning that it has knocked out Ukraine’s air defense assets and airbases, according to the Associated Press.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian strikes have "suppressed air defense 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.
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.
In response to the initial attacks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine will be imposing martial law in response to the Russian invasion of the country.
"This morning Russia launched a new military operation against our state. This is an unjustified deceitful and cynical invasion," Zelenskyy said.
"There are strikes on military and other important defense facilities, border units are under attack, the situation in the Donbas has degraded. The Armed Forces of Ukraine, all special and law enforcement agencies of the state are on alert. The National Security and Defense Council is working in an emergency mode. Martial law will be imposed."
"Civilians of Ukraine should stay at home. Warn your loved ones about what is happening. Take care of those who need help. All thoughts and prayers are with our soldiers. Glory to Ukraine!"
Ukraine’s border guard agency says that the Russian military has attacked the country from neighboring Belarus.
The agency said that the Russian troops unleashed artillery barrage as part of an attack backed by Belarus. They said the Ukrainian border guards were firing back, adding that there was no immediate report of casualties.
Russian troops have deployed to its ally Belarus for military drills, a move that the West saw as a prelude to an invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is about 50 miles south of the border with Belarus.
FOX News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.