Ukraine says 137 civilians, soldiers killed in war so far

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Ukraine has severed diplomatic relations with Russia after Moscow launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War 2.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 137 people, including 10 military officers, have been killed and 316 people injured so far in the Russian invasion. The dead included all border guards on the Zmiinyi Island in the Odesa region, which was taken over by Russians. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said Washington will intervene if Vladimir Putin moves into NATO countries, stressing that if his Russian counterpart is not stopped now, he will be emboldened.

Ukraine said it lost control of the Chernobyl nuclear site, the site of the 1986 disaster. A senior official said that the staff at the Chernobyl plant had been “taken hostage” when Russian troops seized the facility, a move the US termed “incredibly alarming”.

World leaders have decried the invasion; the US and its allies said they will block the assets of four large Russian banks, impose export controls and sanction oligarchs. The countries on NATO’s eastern flank, especially the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, all have received the first batches of US military troops and equipment. China, meanwhile, continues its support of the Kremlin with its customs agency approving imports of wheat from all regions of Russia.

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