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Russia launches attack on Ukraine, Biden says

In an emotional address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Feb. 24 that nearly 200,000 Russian troops were across the border in Russia. (Video: Reuters)

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Russia on Thursday launched a military assault against Ukraine, President Biden said, with explosions occurring across a wide swath of the country, in what the president called an “unjustified attack” that signals “a premeditated war.”

The explosions could be heard in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and Kharkiv, in the country’s northeast. A senior Ukrainian official said there were also explosions at the country’s largest airport, in Kyiv. Air raid sirens were going off in the capital, though the official said that they were intended to wake up residents and that there were no indications of incoming warplanes.

The attacks came as Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the launch of a “special military operation” to carry out the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine and end eight years of war in the country’s east, where Kyiv government forces have been fighting Russian-backed separatists.

Here’s what to know

  • Biden plans to speak early Thursday afternoon and will address “further consequences” that the United States and its allies plan to impose on Russia, the White House said.
  • Zelensky pleaded with the Russian people late Wednesday to stop their leadership from sending troops across the border and into his country.
  • Members of the U.N. Security Council made a succession of pleas for peace and dialogue in an emergency session that laid bare the limits of the world body’s influence.
  • Civil aircraft flights across Ukraine’s airspace were suspended Thursday because of “potential hazard to civil aviation,” according to a notice to airmen.
  • U.S. markets sank again Wednesday as uncertainty over the conflict in Ukraine continued to plague investors. The growing threat of war in Ukraine also moved oil prices higher.
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Here's what to know:

Biden plans to speak early Thursday afternoon and will address “further consequences” that the United States and its allies plan to impose on Russia, the White House said.
Zelensky pleaded with the Russian people late Wednesday to stop their leadership from sending troops across the border and into his country.
Members of the U.N. Security Council made a succession of pleas for peace and dialogue in an emergency session that laid bare the limits of the world body’s influence.
Civil aircraft flights across Ukraine’s airspace were suspended Thursday because of “potential hazard to civil aviation,” according to a notice to airmen.
U.S. markets sank again Wednesday as uncertainty over the conflict in Ukraine continued to plague investors. The growing threat of war in Ukraine also moved oil prices higher.

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War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russia fired at least 85 missiles on at least six major cities in Ukraine on November 15, in one of the most widespread attacks of the war so far. The strikes came just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by video link, presented a 10-point peace plan to G-20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia. As in previous Russian missile attacks, critical civilian infrastructure appeared to be primary targets. Parts of several cities that were hit were left without electrical power on Tuesday afternoon.

Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

Read our full coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for updates and exclusive video.

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