There is fear and panic in Ukraine after Russia launched military action against the country on Thursday.
Since early morning, reports have been coming in of explosions in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and several other cities.In Kyiv, families with little children are taking shelter in basements, The Guardian journalist Luke Harding tweeted. “The kids are holding colouring books. Heart-breaking.”
Our basement in Kyiv now filling up with families with small children. The kids are holding colouring books. Heartbreaking
— Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968) February 24, 2022
As air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klichko told residents: “We have to prevail.”
“The worst enemy now is panic,” the mayor was quoted as saying by Harding. “Keep calm. Everyone not involved in critical city functions, stay home."
In Kharkhiv, a group of residents knelt and prayed in the city’s main square, CNN reported.
What a moment captured by @clarissaward and her team in Kharkiv.
"A small group of people have gathered in the main square and they are kneeling and praying," Clarissa says. "Because right now there is truly a sense of having no idea what is coming down the pipeline." pic.twitter.com/cAoLi8Euaq— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 24, 2022
At a hotel in Kramatorsk city, journalists hid in bomb shelters, said Lindsey Hilsum from British news network Channel 4. Others continued doing live broadcasts outside.
At our hotel in Kramatorsk, half the journalists are in the bomb shelter and the other half doing live broadcasts from outside!— Lindsey Hilsum (@lindseyhilsum) February 24, 2022
World leaders have condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
United States President Joe Biden said the world was praying for Ukrainians suffering an “unprovoked and unjustified” attack by Russian military forces.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said. “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Russia's action had put countless lives at risk.
"Once again, despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression against a sovereign and independent country," Stoltenberg said.