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Boris Johnson to hold Cobra meeting on ‘horrific attacks’ in Ukraine and warns Putin has chosen ‘path of bloodshed’

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BORIS Johnson is to hold a Cobra meeting on the “horrific attacks” in Ukraine overnight.

The PM has warned Vladimir Putin has chosen a “path of bloodshed” after declaring war on the sovereign nation.

EPA

Boris Johnson will chair an emergency Cobra meeting this morning after Russia invaded Ukraine[/caption]

East2West

Footage shows Chuhuiv military airfield burning after a strike[/caption]

Mr Johnson will chair an urgent meeting at 7.30am after the invasion began.

Shortly before 5am, he tweeted: “I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps.

“President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

“The UK and our allies will respond decisively.”

Russia has unleashed a salvo of missiles on Ukraine as 200,000 of Putin’s forces launched a long-awaited invasion of the country.

Kyiv was rocked by a number of explosions, with dramatic footage showing fire rising from buildings as loud blasts echoed.

Hundreds of casualties have been reported by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry as the country was placed under martial law.

Ministry advisor Anton Herashchenko said Russian troops had landed in Odessa and separately were moving into Kharkiv.

Unconfirmed reports and pictures of wreckage suggested a Russian drone had been shot down near Kyiv.

Lights in the capital went out at 6.30am – and seven minutes later, an enormous blast was heard nearby.

At 7.05am sirens began blaring across the capital for the first time as frightened locals braced themselves for a bomb blitz.

Access to the Black Sea and Azov Sea was cut off as an amphibious landing from a tanker and helicopter aircraft was reported near the southern port of Odessa.

A meeting of G7 leaders will also take place today, President Joe Biden has confirmed.

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Mr Biden said.

“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way.

“The world will hold Russia accountable.”

Putin sent tanks and 10,000 troops into two breakaway pro-Russian provinces of Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk – earlier this week.

It came after he granted recognition to the two areas in a controversial move he insisted was to protect them from “Ukrainian aggression”.

He also made a rambling speech on Russian TV blaming NATO for the current crisis and claimed Kyiv was creating “weapons of mass destruction”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has urged its people to take up arms, with one of its MPs warning Russian soldiers they will “die like dogs” if they invade.

Ukraine has now declared a 30-day state of emergency, with fears the country’s second city Kharkiv is next in Putin’s sights.

The country’s National Security and Defence Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said the measure would enable martial law and night-time curfews.

Other restrictions could include checkpoints, road closures, airport shutdowns and confiscation of property if the security situation worsens.

One of Ukraine’s MPs also issued a chilling warning to Russian troops, saying: “Welcome to hell… you will die here.”

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