German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Russia's Vladimir Putin "made a terrible mistake" by starting a war in Ukraine. Ukrainian government reported Russian troops attacking from multiple directions. DW has the latest.
- Ukraine says Russia has launched 'a full-scale attack from multiple directions'
- Germany's Olaf Scholz says Russian leaders would pay a 'bitter price' for starting the war
- Blasts have struck cities across Ukraine, including Kyiv
- The Russian president urged Ukraine's military to 'lay down its arms'
- Russian attack a 'deliberate, cold-blooded, and long-planned invasion,' says NATO chief
Last updated: 11:28 UTC/GMT
Kremlin: Objectives are Ukraine's demilitarization and 'denazification'
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian military operation in Ukraine is designed with two objectives in mind, namely the demilitarization and what he called the "denazification" of Ukraine. He added Putin will decide how long the military campaign will last based on the progress in achieving these objectives.
Peskov added that it was impossible to shut Russia off behind an Iron Curtain.
Putin will not talk to the media following a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Peskov said.
Germany's Scholz: 'This is Putin's war'
Expressing solidarity with Ukrainians, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany will coordinate with G7 and EU leaders to place severe sanctions on Russia.
Scholz said the assault on Ukraine was completely without justification and called it "Putin's war."
"It will be clear that Putin has made a terrible mistake by unleashing this war," Scholz said, adding that Russia would pay a "bitter price" for invading its neighbor.
"I call on Putin immediately to stop the attack," Scholz said, adding that the Russian leader must completely withdraw his troops from Ukraine.
Scholz also said that he had ordered Germany's Security Cabinet to convene and had called for a special session of the German parliament on Sunday. A special video conference on G7 leaders will also be convened at his request, he said.
Zelenskyy says second wave of missile strikes underway
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country is being hit by a second wave of missile strikes.
The first wave was launched in the early hours Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military into Ukraine.
Military command centers, the Kyiv Boryspil airport and other buildings in several Ukrainian cities were targeted in that first round of missile strikes.
NATO will bolster eastern flank
The permanent representatives of NATO member states agreed to bolster air, land and sea defenses on the alliance's eastern flank. NATO leaders will convene Friday to discuss the next steps after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
"We will continue to do whatever is necessary to shield the alliance from aggression," said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. "NATO stands in solidarity with Ukraine and NATO allies are imposing severe costs on Russia."
In a statement, the North Atlantic Council, the alliance's principle political decision-making body, said the Russian invasion of Ukraine is "a grave violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and is wholly contradictory to Russia’s commitments in the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, the Budapest Memorandum and the NATO-Russia Founding Act."
As such, "It constitutes an act of aggression against an independent peaceful country."
Ukrainian foreign minister: Russia attacking from multiple directions
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, "This is not a Russian invasion only in the east of Ukraine, but a full-scale attack from multiple directions."
Putin ally: Ukraine must demilitarize to prevent war
Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of the Russian Duma, called for Ukraine to be "demilitarized."
Volodin said it was the only way to prevent war in Europe, Russian state news agency Ria reported. He is considered a close ally to the Russian president.
Germany offers support to Poland
Germany's Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement that her country would offer support to eastern European countries, notably Poland, that will likely soon face an influx of refugees spilling over from the conflict in neighboring Ukraine.
Faeser said, "We will offer massive support to the affected states — especially our neighbor Poland — in the event of large refugee movements."
She added Germany's security services have increased protections against the possibility of cyberattacks.
Latvian defense minister calls for Germany to allow lethal arms for Ukraine
Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks appealed to Germany to allow the transfer of lethal weapons to Ukraine to counter the Russian invasion.
"Please open your eyes. Please also allow Ukrainians to receive lethal aid, because the situation is totally different than it was before," he told DW. "Germany is the largest European country; it's time for you to act now because a lot depends on you."
Pabriks also said the West had just “one chance” to counter the Russian invasion.
"First, we must start immediately with massive sanctions against the aggressor state of Russia. Secondly, we must provide the Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian population with massive aid so they can prevail," he said.
"That is the only way we can say that the blood of Ukrainians is not also on our hands," Pabriks added.
Lithuania declares a state of emergency
Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda signed a decree calling for a state of emergency in his country, Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reported.
The state of emergency will have to be approved by the parliament, called the Seimas.
Lithuania borders Russia and Belarus, though not Ukraine, and, along with the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia, is a member of both the EU and NATO.