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Bulgaria closes its airspace to Russian aircraft

The ban takes effect at 00:00 (01:00 Moscow Time) and apply to flights over the country’s territorial waters

MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Bulgaria closes its airspace for Russian aircraft on Saturday in the wake of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, the Bulgarian transport ministry said on Friday.

"Bulgaria imposes a ban on Russian aircraft taking off, landing and entering national airspace," says the statement published on the ministry’s site.

The ban takes effect at 00:00 local time (01:00 Moscow Time) and apply to flights over the country’s territorial waters.

Czech Minister of Transport Martin Kupka said earlier that the Czech airspace will be closed for Russian flights from Saturday. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also instructed the government to issue a document on the closure of the Polish airspace for Russian air carriers from Saturday.

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.

When clarifying the unfolding developments, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.