KIEV, February 24. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Border Guard Service claimed on Thursday that Belarusian armed formations participated in ‘an attack of the Ukrainian border.’
"At about 05:00 (06:00 Moscow time), the state border of Ukraine at its section with the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus was attacked by the Russian troops supported by Belarus," the Ukrainian Border Guard Service claimed in a statement.
The forces attacking the Ukrainian border guard units and checkpoints are employing artillery, heavy equipment and small arms, it said.
"These operations are taking place within the bounds of the Lugansk, Sumy, Kharkov, Chernigov and Zhitomir Regions. Also, an attack is in progress from the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. There are also reports of the activity of enemy subversive and reconnaissance groups," the Ukrainian Border Guard Service reported.
Information on casualties among the Ukrainian border guards is being specified, it added.
CNN claimed on Thursday that the troops crossed the Ukrainian border from Belarus. The US TV Channel broadcast the footage of CCTVs showing convoys of the armor moving along a highway. CNN specified that the footage was made at the Senkovka checkpoint at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border.
CNN correspondent Frederik Pleitgen said it was unclear from the video footage whether the armor belonged to the Belarusian or Russian troops.
Special military operation
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported later on Thursday that Russian troops were not delivering strikes against Ukrainian cities. It emphasized that Ukrainian military infrastructure was being destroyed by precision weapons.
Civilians are not threatened, it assured.