Here's what it looks like on the ground as Russia invades Ukraine (VIDEOS)
Years of political tension between bordering countries Russia and Ukraine have culminated in a full-scale invasion by Russia.
Early Thursday morning, Russian forces invaded Ukraine by land, air, and sea, with reports of air raid sirens, explosions, and Russian troops flooding the border.
In a tweet, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy compared the attack to World War II.
“Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in #2WW years,” he said. “As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history.”
Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in #2WW years. As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history. 🇷🇺 has embarked on a path of evil, but 🇺🇦 is defending itself & won’t give up its freedom no matter what Moscow thinks.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 24, 2022
Caught in the middle are Ukrainian civilians who are trying to evacuate and take shelter from Russian missiles that are raining down on cities.
Here’s what it looks like on the ground.
Salwan Georges, a photojournalist for The Washington Post, shared footage of hundreds of people taking shelter inside a subway station in Kharkiv, a city in northeast Ukraine.
“Explosions are heard in the city,” he tweeted.
Hundreds of people, including many women and children are currently taking shelter inside a subway station in Kharkiv, #Ukraine as explosions are heard in the city. @washingtonpost pic.twitter.com/ZddeHqlMvU
— Salwan Georges (@salwangeorges) February 24, 2022
CNN reporter Clarissa Ward spoke with some of the civilians taking shelter in the subway station amid explosions.
“It’s very horrible, very scary,” one person said.
CNN’s @clarissaward reports from a Kharkiv, Ukraine, subway station where citizens have fled amid explosions https://t.co/otKPonn90a pic.twitter.com/pywdvHBPhr
— CNN (@CNN) February 24, 2022
Another CNN reporter, Matthew Chance, shows footage of Russian airborne forces stationed outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
CNN’s Matthew Chance reports from an airbase outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, where Russian airborne troops are engaged in a fire fight with the Ukrainian military https://t.co/TaPomIUP26 pic.twitter.com/rSye7nzmbi
— CNN (@CNN) February 24, 2022
On TikTok, videos of an account that appears to show civilians in Ukraine evacuating have gone viral.
One video that has about six million views as of Thursday shows a large crowd of people with suitcases and bags. It was posted five days ago.
@smma_yyzzt♬ оригинальный звук – Максим Свирков871
NBC News posted a video of the air raid sirens blaring through Kyiv.
@nbcnews Sirens blare through #Kyiv as #Russia begins military operation against #Ukraine. #breakingnews #news ♬ original sound – nbcnews
Vice World News was also on the ground, interviewing evacuees in Kyiv.
“It’s a big threat for our lives…I have a fear, I have instinct, and I want to live, so I need to leave,” said one civilian as air raid sirens blare in the background.
@viceworldnews @matthewcassel spoke to people in Kyiv as they attempted to leave the Ukrainian capital, which is home to around 3 million people. #Russia #Ukraine ♬ original sound – VICE World News