Timeline: How Russia's attack on Ukraine unfolded

Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv on Feb 24, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Russian forces invaded Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday (Feb 24), launching the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II. Here’s a look at how events unfolded throughout the day.

5am (11am Singapore time)

• Russian President Vladimir Putin announces that he has “taken the decision to carry out a special military operation" in Donbass in eastern Ukraine, and calls on Ukrainian soldiers to put down their arms.

• He warns: “Anyone who tries to interfere with us, or even more so, to create threats for our country and our people, must know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you have never before experienced in your history.”

• United States President Joe Biden describes Mr Putin’s actions as a “chosen premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering”, adding that he would “hold Russia accountable”.

• He says he would work with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) military alliance to coordinate a response. Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg echoes Mr Biden’s statement.

• United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pleads with Mr Putin to “bring your troops back to Russia”, in the name of humanity


Blasts are heard in the capital Kyiv in north-central Ukraine; in Kharkiv, the second largest city in the north-east; and in Kramatorsk in the region of Donetsk – one of two eastern Ukrainian territories claimed by Russia-backed separatists since 2014. Local media outlets report Internet disruptions.

• Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says Russian troops have landed in the southern port city of Odessa and are crossing from Russia into Kharkiv. Security camera footage shows Russian military vehicles crossing into Ukraine from Crimea, the peninsula that Russia seized in 2014.

• Rocket attacks target Ukrainian fighter jets parked at an airport outside Kyiv, and Ukraine closes its airspace to commercial flights, citing the “potential hazard to military aviation".

• Air raid sirens blare in Kyiv, the western city of Lviv and other urban areas, as residents rush to take shelter in bus and subway stations. In Kyiv, people wait in long lines to fill their cars with fuel while on their way out of the city. In eastern Ukraine, early signs of panic appear on the streets as lines form at ATMs and petrol stations.

• The Ukrainian authorities say that invading naval forces have come ashore at multiple points, including in Kharkiv and the southern city of Kherson. Military depots, warehouses and the National Guard are hit with artillery blasts.

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• Ukraine’s state emergency service says attacks have been launched in 10 regions, primarily in the east and south of the country.

• Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba calls it “a full-scale invasion of Ukraine” and says his country would defend itself, while calling on the world to “stop Putin”.

Oil prices soar past US$100 for the first time in more than seven years.

• Global stocks and US bond yields dive, while the US dollar and gold prices rocket higher.


• In the east, Russia-backed separatists say they have launched offensives on the Ukraine-controlled town of Shchastia in the Luhansk province and against Ukrainian forces along the line of contact in Donetsk.

• Russia’s Defence Ministry says it is using “high-precision weapons” to disable military infrastructure, air defence facilities, military airfields and Ukrainian army planes. It says it is not attacking cities, and that “the civilian population is not at risk”.

• Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya trades barbs with his Russian counterpart Vassily Nebenzia during a heated emergency Security Council meeting on the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Mr Kyslytsya tells Mr Nebenzia: “There is no purgatory for war criminals. They go straight to hell, ambassador."


• Ukraine’s state border service says Russian troops stationed in Belarus, north of Ukraine, have launched an attack with support from the Belarusian military.

• Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko denies that his forces are involved.

• Russia’s Defence Ministry says it has disabled all of Ukraine’s air defences and air bases. The claim has not been verified.

• Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says Russian forces have captured two villages in the Luhansk region.

• Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky declares martial law in the country.


• Ukrainian forces shoot down six Russian fighters and a helicopter, a senior Ukrainian military official says.

• Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov calls on anyone looking to take up arms against Russian forces to enlist.

• An adviser to the Ukraine President says more than 40 Ukrainian soldiers have died and dozens have been wounded.


• President Zelensky says that weapons would be issued to everyone who wants them. He urges Russians to come out and protest against the war.

• The Straits Times Index closes 3.5 per cent lower.

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• Mr Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, posts on Twitter: “No, this is not a Russian invasion only in the east of Ukraine, but a full-scale attack from multiple directions. No, the Ukrainian defence has not collapsed. Ukrainian army took the fight. Ukraine stands with both feet on the ground and continues to defend itself.”


• Nato chief Stoltenberg says the alliance has no intention to send forces into Ukraine. But Nato will take new deterrence and defence steps, which include putting over 100 warplanes on high alert and further increasing the presence of troops on its eastern flank.


• President Biden meets G-7 allies at a virtual, closed-door meeting to hammer out new sanctions against Russia. The Group of Seven consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

• Russia says its military has destroyed more than 70 military targets, including 11 airfields in Ukraine.

• Russian authorities warn against demonstrations in response to social media calls in Russia to protest against the invasion.


• President Zelensky says Ukrainian forces are fighting to prevent Russian troops from capturing the former nuclear power plant at Chernobyl. Parts of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region are no longer under Kyiv’s control, the regional administration says, as Russian forces attack by land, sea and air.

• The European Union will impose new sanctions on Russia targeting industry, financial sectors and export controls over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, an EU diplomat says.

• The Russian central bank beefs up the banking sector with extra liquidity and starts to sell foreign currency on the forex market after the rouble falls to all-time lows.

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