FirstFT: Russia begins full-scale invasion of Ukraine

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Vladimir Putin has launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine and demanded Kyiv’s army lay down its weapons, starting what could be the largest conflict in Europe since the second world war.

With bombardments of artillery, heavy equipment and small arms, Russian troops launched attacks from Ukraine’s northern border with Belarus, across its eastern frontier with Russia, and in the south from Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula Russia invaded and annexed in 2014.

Soon after, Ukrainian authorities reported columns of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles driving into the country from all three fronts. Roads out of Kyiv were gridlocked with civilians fleeing the capital.

In an address on state television shortly before 6am on Thursday, Russia’s president said Moscow would seek to “de-Nazify” Ukraine and “defend” victims of “genocide”, despite there being no evidence of such crimes. has the latest news on the Ukraine conflict.

  • Opinion: Putin’s war will shake the world, writes Gideon Rachman.

  • West threatens reprisals after Vladimir Putin launches Ukraine invasion.

  • How have ordinary Ukrainians prepared for a Russian invasion? These photographs chronicle paramilitary schools and weekend workshops.

  • Explainer: Diplomats say that Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to deter Vladimir Putin was a high-risk move with little chance of success — but it was essential to try.

  • Germany’s decision to suspend the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project will not deal an immediate economic blow to Russia.

  • EU holds emergency summit after Russia attacks Ukraine, writes Valentina Pop. To keep up to date with all that’s happening across Europe, sign up for the Europe Express newsletter.

  • Markets Briefing: Oil rises above $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014. European shares drop and Moscow stock index dives after the Ukraine invasion.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Americas. Share your questions about the Ukraine crisis at — Wai Kwen

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The day ahead

EU summit in Brussels EU leaders are planning to discuss the escalating crisis in Ukraine. Charles Michel, European Council president, said he wanted to meet to “jointly define our collective approach and actions”.

Join Financial Times journalists and leading experts on February 25 at 1300 GMT for an unmissable virtual briefing, Russia-Ukraine Conflict: What Next? Register free here.

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