MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Ukrainian troops are leaving their positions in large numbers, dropping their weapons, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday, citing intelligence.
"According to intelligence, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ troops and service members are leaving their positions in large numbers, dropping their weapons. No strikes are being carried out on the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ units that have laid down their arms," the statement reads.
According to the ministry, precision weapons are being used to disable military infrastructure facilities, air defenses, military airfields and aircraft.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation based on a request from the heads of the Donbass republics. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories.