Ukraine was hit in a large-scale attack by Russia early Thursday. Russian forces entered the country on multiple fronts as explosions were heard in the capital city of Kyiv and other locations.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted at 10 a.m. EST that Russian forces were attempting to seize control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
“Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the Chernobyl [Nuclear Power Plant]. Our defenders are sacrificing their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated,” Zelensky tweeted. “This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.”
Later in the day, Ukrainian presidential office advisor Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had in fact been captured by Russian forces. “It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians,” he said.
“This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today,” Podolyak said.
Reports of casualties and people starting to flee to seek safety began to come in not long after the invasion began, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said.
“We’re gravely concerned about the fast-deteriorating situation and ongoing military actions in Ukraine,” the agency tweeted.
“Civilian lives and civilian infrastructure must be protected and safeguarded at all times.”
How the invasion has so far unfolded, and how the world at large is responding, are what follows.