In a move that has been branded as an “act of war,” the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine saw around 10,0000 troops move into two Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin has launched an effective invasion of eastern Ukraine, ordering tanks to cross the borders into the newly recognised Donetsk and Luhansk regions, for he claimed was "peacekeeping functions".
With this invasion drawing comparisons with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, fears are looming for what could be the beginning of the bloodiest conflict in Europe since WW2.
As the world holds its breath for Putin’s next move, here’s the latest on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Will there be a World War 3?
With the tensions between Russia and Ukraine spilling over into the West, many fear that the conflict between the two countries could develop into a heavily armed war, leading to thousands of civilian deaths and a significant refugee crisis in Europe.
Putin's decision to order troops over the Russian border has marked the start of Ukraine's invasion. And now, the world is waiting to see how the West responds to the crisis.
General Sir Richard Sherriff, Britain's former top Nato commander, said: "This is the most dangerous moment in Europe probably at least since 1962 and the Cuban missile crisis."
He added that Putin's "invasion of a sovereign country could turn into a catastrophic war with warfare on a scale not seen in Europe since 1945".
Will there be a war between Russia and Ukraine?
Russia 'secretly sends 7000 troops' to Ukraine border hours after claiming withdrawal
With Russia's invasion of Ukraine now underway, the rest of Ukraine is now braced for a massive attack from the north, south and east "at any moment" after Putin declared the besieged nation was "part of Russia".
UK's ambassador to the UN, Dame Barbara Woodward, has warned that Russia's move into Ukraine regions has brought the situation "to the brink" of war.
She warned that the country's actions "will have severe and far-reaching consequences" and the invasion could unleash "the forces of war, death and destruction" on the people of Ukraine.
While Boris Johnson has already spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to pledge Britain’s support, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that Britain will impose further sanctions on Russia, adding that the West was "waking up to a very dark day in Europe".
The EU also branded Russia's action as an "act of war," while US President Joe Biden has warned Putin of "swift and severe costs" amid fears Moscow was looking for an excuse to invade.
Though countries have been warning their citizens to leave Ukraine ahead of possible rise in tensions, civilians – including children – in Ukraine have been preparing by learning to fire weapons.
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