The Ukrainian government has announced it has shot down five Russian fighter jets as Vladimir Putin’s forces invade the Eastern European nation.
Just hours after Russia began its “special military operation,” Ukraine revaled Thursday morning local time that it had successfully shot down one Russian military helicopter and five jets.
The Ukrainian Department of Defense made the announcement on Twitter, urging citizens to “Stay calm!”
Based on a Google translation, Ukraine tweeted the following message from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine:
According to the Joint Forces Command, 5 planes and a helicopter of the aggressors were shot down in the area of the Armed Forces today.
The combined forces give a worthy rebuff to the armed forces of the Russian Federation. Military units in their positions.
The enemy suffers losses. Keep calm!
Повідомлення ГШ ЗСУ
За інформацією командування Об’єднаних Сил, сьогодні у районі проведення ОС збито 5 літаків та вертоліт агресорів.
Об'єднані сили дають гідну відсіч збройним силам РФ. Військові підрозділи на своїх позиціях. Противник несе втрати.
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) February 24, 2022
Earlier on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced he is launching an all-hands-on-deck operation.
The government is offering any Ukrainian citizen a firearm who wants to join the army to protect their country against Russian forces.
Zelensky announced he would give weapons to anyone who wanted to defend the country from the full-scale Russian invasion.
The invasion was launched during the early morning hours which came at approximately the same time that Putin announced that a “special military operation” was underway.
Putin told Ukrainian soldiers to give up and go home while threatening the U.S. and NATO that if they intervene “Russia will respond immediately, and you will have consequences that you never have had before in your history.”
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” Zelensky said in a statement.
“We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defense with weapons in hands.”
Russia has also targeted multiple cities in Ukraine, hitting military and non-military targets alike.
Getty Images published images of firefighters trying to extinguish fires at an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv, which was hit by Russian fighters:
“Ukrainian firefighters try to extinguish a fire after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on February 24, 2022,” the caption of the photo states.
Additionally, world leaders from around the world issued statements condemning Putin for launching the attack while Ukraine pleaded for help at the United Nations.
“We urge member states to use all available means to protect Ukraine and deter Russia,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the United Nations General Assembly.
Likewise, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the organization will “meet to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions” and that NATO would “do all it takes to protect and defend all Allies.”