KIEV, February 24. /TASS/. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that Russia’s Armed Forces have been carrying out intensive strikes against Ukrainian military facilities, including air bases since 05:00 (06:00 Moscow time) on Thursday.
"They carried out missile and bomb strikes against airdromes in Borispol, Ozernoye, Kulbakino, Chuguyev, Kramatorsk and Chernobayevka, as well as military facilities of Ukraine’s Armed Forces," Ukraine’s General Staff said on its Facebook page.
The message reads that Ukraine’s Air Force repels the strikes. "The country's defense forces are in full combat readiness. They have taken and are holding defensive positions. The situation is under control. Reports about a landing of Russian troops in Odessa are not true," the Ukrainian General Staff added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday morning said in a televised address that in response to a request from the leaders of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to conduct a special operation to protect people who "for eight years been exposed to humiliation and genocide by the regime in Kiev." The Russian leader said that "occupation of Ukrainian territories is not in Moscow’s plans".