KYIV, Ukraine - An adviser to Ukraine’s president says about 40 people have been killed so far in the Russian attack on the country.
Oleksii Arestovich, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that several dozen people have been wounded.
He didn’t specify whether the casualties included civilians.
Zelenskyy said the Ukrainian authorities will hand weapons to all those willing to defend the country.
"The future of the Ukrainian people depends on every Ukrainian," he said, urging all those who can defend the country to come to the Interior Ministry’s assembly facilities.
ANKARA, Turkey — Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey has called on the NATO member country to close its airspace and to shut down the straits at the entrance of the Black Sea to Russian ships.
"We are calling for the airspace, Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to be closed," Ambassador Vasyl Bodnar told reporters on Thursday. "We have conveyed our relevant demand to the Turkish side. At the same time, we want sanctions imposed on the Russian side."
A 1936 convention gives Turkey control over the straits connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, and allows it to limit the passage of warships during wartime or if Turkey is threatened.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened an emergency security meeting to discuss the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Turkey, which enjoys close relations with both Ukraine and Russia, had been pressing for a diplomatic solution to the tensions.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s president says his country has cut diplomatic ties with Russia after it was attacked.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the decision to rupture ties with Moscow on Thursday after it launched a massive air and missile attack on its neighbor and Russian forces were seen rolling into Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials say the country’s military is fighting back and asked for Western defense assistance.
KYIV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian presidential adviser says that Russian forces have launched an attack on Ukraine from the north, east and south. The adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said "the Ukrainian military is fighting hard."
Podolyak said Thursday that "our army is fighting back inflicting significant losses to the enemy." He said that there have been civilian casualties, but didn’t give details.
He said that "Ukraine now needs a greater and very specific support from the world — military-technical, financial as well as tough sanctions against Russia," he said.
Another adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia has targeted air bases and various other military infrastructure.
Oleksii Arestovich said the Russian strike hasn’t achieved its goal to rout the country’s military. He said that "we suffered casualties, but they aren’t significant," adding that the Russian strikes "haven’t eroded the combat capability of the Ukrainian military."
He said that the Russian troops moved up to 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) deep into the Ukrainian territory in the Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions, and, possibly in other areas.
BEIJING — China’s customs agency on Thursday approved imports of wheat from all regions of Russia, a move that could help to reduce the impact of possible Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.
The two governments announced an agreement Feb. 8 for China to import Russian wheat and barley after Russian President Vladimir became the highest-profile foreign guest to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics.
China’s populous market is a growth area for other farm goods suppliers, but Beijing had barred imports until now from Russia’s main wheat-growing areas due to concern about possible fungus and other contamination.
Russia is one of the biggest wheat producers but its exports would be vulnerable if its foreign markets block shipments in response to its attack on Ukraine.
Thursday’s announcement said Russia would "take all measures" to prevent contamination by wheat smut fungus and would suspend exports to China if it was found.
BERLIN — Germany's foreign minister says that "we woke up in a different world today."
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a televised statement that "after months of preparing lies and propaganda, President Putin decided today to let his threats be followed with terrible deeds."
Baerbock said that "the Russian government is breaking the most elementary rules of the international order in front of the eyes of the world."
Baerbock said German diplomats remaining in Kyiv would leave the capital. A decision would be made whether the embassy could resume its work from Lviv.
MOSCOW — Security camera footage shows a line of Russian military vehicles crossing into Ukraine from Russian-annexed Crimea.
Russian troops launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday. President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to "consequences you have never seen."
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging global leaders to provide defense assistance to Ukraine and help protect its airspace from the "aggressor."
Zelenskyy said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has unleased a war with Ukraine and the entire democratic world." He added that the Russian leader "wants to destroy our state, everything that we have built."
He praised the nation’s soldiers, hailing their courage and urged civilians not to panic.
"We are starting the creation of an anti-Putin coalition," he said. "I have already urged global leaders to slam Putin with all possible sanctions, offer large-scale defense support and close the airspace over Ukraine for the aggressor."
"Together we must save Ukraine, save the democratic world, and we will do it," Zelenskyy said.
BEIJING — World stock markets have plunged and oil prices surged by nearly $6 per barrel after President Vladimir Putin launched Russian military action in Ukraine.
Market benchmarks tumbled in Europe and Asia and U.S. futures were sharply lower. Brent crude oil jumped to over $100 per barrel Thursday on unease about possible disruption of Russian supplies.
The ruble sank 7.5% to more than $87 to the U.S. dollar. Earlier, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index fell 1.8% to an eight-month low after the Kremlin said rebels in eastern Ukraine asked for military assistance.
Investors already were uneasy about the possible impact of the Federal Reserve’s plans to try to cool inflation.
BEIJING — China’s Foreign Ministry is repeating calls for talks to resolve the worsening crisis in Ukraine, while refusing to criticize Russia’s actions and accusing the U.S. and its allies of worsening the crisis.
Spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters Thursday that "the Ukraine issue is complex in its historical background ... what we are seeing today is the interplay of complex factors."
Hua said China still hopes "that the parties concerned will not shut the door to peace and engage instead in dialogue and consultation and prevent the situation from further escalating,"
Although China has not endorsed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of independence for Ukraine’s separatist areas or his decision to send Russian forces there, Hua said China "called on parties to respect others' legitimate security concerns."
Hua said that "all parties should work for peace instead of escalating the tension or hyping up the possibility of war" — repeating the language China has consistently used to criticize the West in the crisis.
Hua asked: "Those parties who were busy condemning others; what have they done? Have they persuaded others?"
Hua did not describe Russia’s actions as an invasion or directly refer to the movement of Russian forces into Ukraine.
PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron, who had labored until the last minute for a diplomatic solution, says that "France firmly condemns Russia’s decision to wage war" and is promising support for Ukraine.
Macron said Thursday that "Russia must end its military operations immediately." He spoke by phone to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who demanded "united European support" for Ukraine, according to a statement from the French presidency.
Macron said France is "working with its partners and allies to end the war."
BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s defense ministry says that two F-16 aircraft from the Romanian military on a NATO air policing mission intercepted a Ukrainian Air Force plane that had entered Romanian airspace, and escorted it to an airbase in Bacau.
The ministry wrote that the Romanian planes "strictly applied national procedures and international rules applicable in such situations, through the interception and visual identification of the aircraft entering the Romanian airspace."
The ministry said that the Ukrainian military pilot made himself available to Romanian authorities on Thursday morning.
BRUSSELS — The European Union says it is planning the "strongest, the harshest package" of sanctions it has ever considered at an emergency summit Thursday, as the Russian military attacked Ukraine.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that "the target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order, and we will hold President (Vladimir) Putin accountable for that."
"We will present a package of massive and targeted sanctions to European leaders for approval," she said.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called it the "strongest, the harshest package" ever considered.
LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Western allies will not stand by as Russia attacks Ukraine.
In an early morning call, Johnson told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he was appalled by events in Ukraine, according to a statement released by the prime minister’s office.
"The Prime Minister said the West would not stand by as President Putin waged his campaign against the Ukrainian people," Johnson’s office said in the statement.
Johnson added that Ukraine was in the thoughts of everyone in the U.K. "during this dark time."
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are condeming the Russian operation in Ukraine as a "crime against Ukrainian people."
In a joint statement, the three countries' foreign ministers condemned strongly "the open large scale Russian aggression against the independent, peaceful and democratic Ukraine."
They called it "a blatant violation of the international law, of all international norms and a crime against Ukrainian people that we condemn."
Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto said the Russian move is "an attack on the security order throughout Europe."
BRUSSELS — NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has convened a meeting of NATO ambassadors to assess the invasion of Ukraine, which borders several NATO members.
The meeting Thursday morning will "address the situation in Ukraine and the consequences of Russia’s unprovoked attack."
Earlier, Stoltenberg had already condemned Russia’s invasion. "Despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression," Stoltenberg said.
He also warned Moscow that the alliance will will "do all it takes to protect and defend" NATO members.
He called the invasion a "grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security. I call on Russia to cease its military action immediately."
MOSCOW — The Russian military says it has knocked out Ukraine’s air defense assets and airbases.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian strikes have "suppressed air defense means of the Ukrainian military," adding that the infrastructure of Ukraine’s military bases has been incapacitated." It denied the claims that a Russian warplane was shot down over Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, reported that it has shot down five Russian aircraft while fending off the Russian attack on the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he unleashed an attack on Ukraine in a televised address early Thursday, drawing international condemnation.
BEIJING — China is advising its people in Ukraine to stay home because of ongoing military actions and chaos but made no mention of Russian forces.
The notice issued on its Kyiv embassy’s social media account Thursday said: "Social order is chaotic and out of control, especially in the cities where at times of serious unrest."
It said a person walking on the streets could be a target of attack and traffic could be stopped at any time. It added that people should remain calm and contact local authorities if they come into danger.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the military operation in eastern Ukraine early Thursday.
China has denounced sanctions against Russia, with which it has increasingly aligned its foreign policy to challenge the West, and blamed the U.S. and its allies for provoking Moscow.
BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has sharply condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine calling it "a terrible day for Ukraine and a dark day for Europe."
The chancellor said Thursday morning that "the Russian attack on Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law. It cannot be justified by anything."
He added that "Germany condemns this reckless act by President Putin in the strongest possible terms."
Scholz said in a written statement that "our solidarity is with Ukraine and its people. Russia must stop this military action immediately."
He added Germany would coordinate closely with others within the framework of the Group of Seven, NATO and the European Union.
BERLIN — The European Union Aviation Safety Agency is telling air operators of a high risk to civilian aircraft over Ukraine, reminding air operators that "this is now an active conflict zone."
In the bulletin issued early Thursday, EASA said that "airspace and critical infrastructure, including airports, are exposed to military activities which result in safety risks for civil aircraft. In particular, there is a risk of both intentional targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft."
It added: "The presence and possible use of a wide range of ground and airborne warfare systems poses a HIGH risk for civil flights operating at all altitudes and flight levels."
It recommended that, "additionally, as a precautionary measure, operators should exercise extreme caution and avoid using the airspace" within 100 nautical miles of the Belarusian- and Russia-Ukraine border.