Kyiv, Ukraine capital, appears threatened as it mobilizes military

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has ordered a full military mobilization to counter the Russian invasion.

Explosions have been heard in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as Russian forces continued their assault Thursday night.

In a decree issued Thursday, Zelensky said the the mobilization would last 90 days.

He tasked the military’s general staff with determining the number of people eligible for service and the number of reservists as well as the order of the call-up. The president’s cabinet has been tasked with allocating money for the mobilization.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order. Ukraine’s government pleaded for help as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee.

Scores of Ukrainians, civilians and service members alike, were killed in the first full day of fighting, and the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv appeared to be increasingly threatened. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the government had information that “subversive groups” were encroaching on the city, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Kyiv “could well be under siege.”

What’s happened so far:

  • Russian troops launched a broad assault on Ukraine from three sides on Thursday, an attack that began with explosions before dawn in the capital Kyiv and other cities.
  • President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, charging that Russian leader Vladimir Putin “chose this war” and that his country will bear the consequences of his action.
  • The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that its ground forces have moved into Ukraine from Crimea, the first confirmation from Moscow that its ground forces have moved in.
  • Ukraine’s health minister said at least 57 Ukrainians have been killed and 169 more wounded.

  • Shocked Russians turned out by the thousands to decry the invasion and emotional calls for protests grew on social media.

  • A presidential adviser says Ukraine lost control of the Chernobyl nuclear site, where Ukrainian forces had waged a fierce battle with Russian troops.
  • NATO has agreed to beef up its land, sea and air forces on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia.
  • In a televised address as the attack began, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would “lead to consequences you have never seen in history.”
  • World leaders Thursday condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “barbaric” and moved to slap unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow and those close to President Vladimir Putin.
  • Stocks tumbled worldwide Thursday after Russia’s attack of Ukraine sent fear coursing through markets and upped the pressure on the high inflation already hurting people and businesses around the world. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 tumbled 2.6% at the open of trading before erasing the drop and flipping to a gain of 0.6%. The heaviest losses hit stocks in Europe.

Russia’s expanding invasion of Ukraine has opened a new and perilous chapter in Joe Biden’s presidency, testing his aspirations to defend democracy on a global level and thrusting him into a long-term struggle to restore European security.

It’s a far different trajectory than he imagined when his administration began last year with the goals of countering China’s growing influence in the world and reinvesting at home as the United States tried to turn the page on a deadly pandemic.