Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders on three sides on Thursday after Moscow unleashed the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two, prompting tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war in a pre-dawn televised address, explosions and gunfire were heard throughout the day in Kyiv, a city of 3 million people.
Fierce battle in chernobyl just 60 kilometres from capital Kyiv

“This is a premeditated attack,” U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House as he unveiled harsh new sanctions, coordinated with allies, against Russian banks, oligarchs and state companies.
“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences,” he said.

In his address, Putin said he had ordered “a special military operation” to protect people, including Russian citizens, subjected to “genocide” in Ukraine – an accusation the West calls baseless propaganda.

A big explosion in capital city of Kyiv on Thursday night

By nightfall, a picture was emerging of fierce fighting across multiple fronts.

An adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office said Russian forces had captured the Chernobyl former nuclear power plant, just 90 km (60 miles) north of the capital. There was also fighting at Hostomel airport, just outside Kyiv, where paratroopers were landed. A Ukrainian official later said the airfield had been recaptured.

Ukrainian troops claimed that this is Russian tank which they destroyed

Heavy exchanges of fire were also reported in the regions of Sumy and Kharkiv in the northeast and Kherson in the south.
The highway heading west out of Kyiv was choked with traffic across five lanes as residents fled, fearful of bombardments while stuck in their cars.
The U.N. refugee agency said an estimated 100,000 Ukrainians had fled their homes. Thousands were crossing into neighbouring countries, including Romania, Moldova, Poland and Hungary.

Biden has ruled out sending U.S. troops to defend Ukraine, but Washington has reinforced its NATO allies in the region with extra troops and planes.

Americans and NATo have ditched Ukrain as thousands cry for help

After consulting counterparts from the Group of Seven leading industrialised nations, Biden announced measures to impede Russia’s ability to do business in the world’s major currencies, along with sanctions against banks and state-owned enterprises.

Britain also targeted banks, along with members of Putin’s closest circle and super-rich Russians who enjoy high-rolling London lifestyles.