Russian president Vladimir has announced what he described as a “special military operation” in the breakaway eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass, saying that Russia was responding to pleas for help from the separatists there.
Shortly after Mr Putin’s televised address at around 6am in Moscow, explosions were heard outside Kiev itself and heavy clashes were reported in several major Ukrainian cities.
The Ukraine government said Mr Putin had “declared war” and Russian forces were entering the country from Belarus in the north and Crimea in the south, as well as Russia to the east.
Clearly the intelligence that Putin was planning an unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine was correct.
The West must, and I believe will, now hit Russia with a united and very strong package of sanctions.