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Putin’s “Shock & Awe” War On Ukraine Unfolds In “Dark Day For Europe”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Now many hours into Russia's attack that started around 5am Kiev time, it's become clear that a full-scale 'shock and awe' type invasion is clearly on – which is not just limited to Donbas in the east. Stunning videos from on the ground show what can be described as an ongoing air war on Kiev and several other cities across the country. Tanks have also been seen speeding across Ukraine's border from Belarus, with widespread reports that Belarusian soldiers are mounting the attack alongside Russian troops.

Russia's military had announced within just a couple hours into the offensive that all of Ukraine's air defense systems have been taken out. A massive Russian aerial presence, including fighter jets and helicopters, has been confirmed over much of the country. 

Soon after the initial attack which also included cruise missile launches, which likely came from Russia's Black Sea fleet, Kiev authorities cited "hundreds" of Ukrainians killed, including civilians. 

It's believed that much of Ukraine's command and control military infrastructure was targeted and hit in the first wave, also as Ukraine border guards were attack, with some reports of soldiers fleeing the Russian advance. Moscow has declared safe passage for any Ukrainian soldier laying down their arms. 

Ukraine's state emergency service has also said a Ukrainian military plane was downed, which killed five people. This as surreal battlefield footage continues to evidence the ferocity of an air war in progress.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday issued comment on the scope and goal of the military objections, citing Putin's aim of the "demilitarization and denazification" of Ukraine. 

"Ideally, Ukraine should be liberated, cleansed of Nazis, of pro-Nazi people and ideology," Peskov said, saying that operations would end only once these objectives have been reached. It remains unclear whether this will mean regime change in Kiev, though at this point that scenario is looking more than likely. There were early reports that President Zelensky has been offered safe passage if he leaves Ukraine.

Ukraine national police and emergency services have said there's been fighting throughout the entire country, with Russia conducting over 200 attacks, with severe clashes ongoing in various parts of Ukraine.

President Biden has vowed severe and far-reaching new sanctions, which he said will be announced in an address on Thursday. German chancellor Olaf Scholz and other Western leaders condemned what Scholz called a "reckless act by President Putin," and "terrible day for Ukraine and a dark day for Europe."

"There is no justification for any of this — this is Putin's war," Scholz said at a news conference in Berlin. 

The large in scope Russian campaign is now being widely described as Putin's "shock and awe" war – to borrow from America's Iraq War – in the heart of eastern Europe. Bloomberg and others are calling it Europe's worst security crisis since World War II.

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