Updated Feb 24, 2022 - World

Russian military attacks kill dozens of people in Ukraine

Ukrainian firefighters try to extinguish a fire after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on February 24.
Ukrainian firefighters try to extinguish a fire after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine, on Thursday. Photo: Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russian military attacks on Ukraine have killed at least 40 people, an adviser to the Ukrainian president said on Thursday, per AP.

Driving the news: Air raid sirens rang out in the capital Kyiv, as Russian missile strikes were reported in multiple cities across Ukraine — moments after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in the country that was part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991.

The big picture: Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, said on Facebook that Russia's military had unleashed missile attacks on Ukrainian military command facilities, air bases and military depots in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro, according to a translation by AP.

  • Ukraine’s border guard agency reported troops were returning fire against Russian troops that had launched an "artillery barrage" in a Belarus-backed assault, per an AP translation. Russia had extended its military drills in Belarus in recent days.
  • Ukraine announced the closure of its airspace to civilian flights, and Europe's aviation regulator warned against flying near the Ukraine-Belarus border, Reuters notes.
Data: The New York Times; Mapbox/OSCE; Map: Will Chase and Jared Whalen/Axios
Data: The New York Times; Mapbox/OSCE; Map: Will Chase and Jared Whalen/Axios

Meanwhile, Ukraine's ambassador to Ankara on Thursday urged NATO member Turkey to shut the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to Russian warships, the New York Times reports.

  • Reports earlier this week indicated that Russia had bolstered its naval armada in the Black Sea.

Worth noting: Turkey has previously had warm ties with both Russia and Ukraine, and all three share a maritime border in the Black Sea, per Reuters.

Go deeper: The latest on the Russia-Ukraine crisis

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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