The President, in an address to the nation, announced the beginning of a military operation to protect Donbas

Russian President Vladimir Putin made an address to the Russians, where he announced the beginning of a special military operation to protect Donbass. The Head of State noted that it was a response to requests for military assistance received from the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).

“In this regard, in accordance with Article 51, Part 7 of the UN Charter, with the sanction of the Federation Council and in pursuance of the treaties on friendship and mutual assistance with the DPR and LPR ratified by the Federal Assembly, I have decided to conduct a special military operation,” Putin said.

He stressed that the occupation of Ukraine is not part of the plans of the Russian leadership.

The Russian Defense Ministry said there was no threat to Ukrainian cities

The Ministry of Defense of Russia reported that now the military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields and military aviation of Ukraine are being put out of order by high-precision means of destruction.

At the same time, it is emphasized that Russian forces do not inflict any missile, aviation or artillery strikes on Ukrainian cities.

The aviation bases of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been disabled

The Ministry of Defense of Russia reported that the Ukrainian border guards do not offer any resistance to Russian units.

Also, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, by now the air defense means of the armed forces of Ukraine have been suppressed and the military infrastructure of the air bases of the armed forces of the former Soviet Republic has been disabled.

Western media reported about the downed Russian plane. The Ministry of Defense denied this

The information of the Western media about the Russian plane allegedly shot down over Ukraine does not correspond to reality, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Earlier, the General Staff of Ukraine reported five downed Russian planes and one helicopter. There were reports in the Western media about one downed Russian plane.

There are restrictions in the territories bordering Ukraine

The head of the Crimea Sergey Aksenov instructed to limit the work of schools and kindergartens in the border territories. These include Dzhankoy and Dzhankoy district, Krasnoperekopsk and the district, Armyansk, Chernomorsky, Leninsky, Razdolnensky districts, Aksenov specified.

In addition, Aksenov instructed the Ministry of Emergency Situations to organize reception points for refugees on the peninsula.

The authorities of the Kursk region have decided to transfer schoolchildren in areas bordering Ukraine to distance learning, the governor of the region Roman Starovoit said on Thursday.

The purpose of the operation is “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine”

The purpose of Moscow’s military operation is “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine,” as well as protection of people subjected to bullying and genocide, the president noted in his address. He added that Russia will prosecute in Ukraine those guilty of crimes against civilians and Russian citizens.

Putin also stressed that Russia cannot feel safe while threats emanate from neighboring Ukraine. As an example, the head of state cited the statements of official Kyiv about the possibility of returning the republic’s nuclear status. The President stressed that Russia would not allow Kyiv to take such a step.

Putin called on Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their weapons

The Russian president promised that all the Ukrainian military who obeyed this demand would be given the opportunity to leave the war zone and return to their families.

At the same time, the head of state warned against attempts to prevent Russia from conducting the operation, as well as from creating threats to the country. He stressed that “Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to consequences that you have never encountered in your history.”

In addition, Putin stressed that the Russian authorities are ready for any development of events and have made all the necessary decisions. “I hope I will be heard,” the Russian president said.

Putin blamed the Ukrainian authorities for the bloodshed

In his address to the Russians, the President of the country stressed that the responsibility for the bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian authorities.

“I would like to stress once again that all responsibility for possible bloodshed will be entirely on the conscience of the regime ruling on the territory of Ukraine,” Putin said.

He also pointed out that the leading NATO states support extreme nationalists and neo-Nazis in Ukraine, who, in turn, “will never forgive the Crimean and Sevastopol residents their free choice of reunification with Russia.”

“Neo-Nazis in Ukraine will climb into the Crimea with a war to kill,” the Russian president said.