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Eight hours after start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. First Russian losses

The morning of February 24 was marked by a statement by Russian President V. Putin on the provision of military assistance to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The decision was made following the demands of the DPR and the LPR for military support.

The main objectives outlined by the President are the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine and the protection of civilians in the DPR and LPR.

At the moment, the situation indicates a military operation by the Russian Army. The territory enshrined in the constitutions of the DPR and LPR is being liberated from the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The main strikes are carried out against military infrastructure located on the territory occupied by the Ukrainian army. Importantly, Russian weapons are not striking civilian infrastructure.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Russian Armed Forces took out the military aviation and air defense infrastructure of Ukraine.

Two Su-24s of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were shot down near the villages of Smeloye and Stepovoye. According to the LPR People’s Militia.

So far, military facilities near major Ukrainian cities of Mariupol, Berdyansk, Zaporizhia, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Odessa, Zhytomyr, Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernihiv have been destroyed. The UAF facilities near the Ukrainian capital were also knocked out.

The following video shows the damage in the air defence military base in Mariupol:

The Romanian Air Force intercepted and grounded a Ukrainian Su-27 that had fled from the scene of hostilities.

Armed forces of the DPR and LPR are advancing toward the republics’ borders with Ukraine. Such settlements as Schastye, Stanytsia Luhanska, and Lopaskino have now been liberated from occupation by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Many UAF military formations have been pushed back from their positions. The staff of the 53rd Brigade is withdrawing from Volnovakha and hastily leaving the city to the opposite side of the line of contact.

The Ukrainian military are fleeing and crushing civilian vehicles with equipment.

UPDATE: 42 Ukrainian border guards crossed into the territory of Russia in the Bryansk region and Crimea – The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation

According to LPR intelligence, it is noted that UAF fighters all along the line of contact refuse to follow orders from the command and leave their forward positions. According to the DPR, the headquarters of Ukraine’s United Forces operation in Donbass has been destroyed.

Some Ukrainian soldiers surrender. For example, video shows the positions of the 53rd and 57th brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Russian army is advancing in the South of Ukraine. The Russian military columns were spotted near the towns of Genichesk, Novaya Kahovka and throughout the Kherson region. Earlier, the Russian assault forces were deployed there.

At least one Russian helicopter Ka-52 shot was down from a Stinger MANPADS in Gostomil.

At the moment, a military column with no identification marks is passing through the town of Brovary, heading towards Kiev.

Russian fighter jets are flying over Kiev.

Russian Helicopter Assault Force over Vyshgorod, to the north of Kiev :

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg claimed that the Alliance is not going to deploy its forces in Ukraine, or close the Bosphorus for Russian ships.

Unfortunately, according to reports from pro-Russian media, there are is panic among the Ukrainian civilians. People are leaving for the western parts of the country. From there, some are on their way to EU territory. There is also information about the direction of the flow of civilians by the military. According to experts, the military may use civilians as a shield against Russian strikes.

According to information provided by both pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian media, including Telegram channels, the main target of the Russian army will be the main functionaries of Ukrainian Nazi groups and movements.

Source: South Front