Raul Kiria, a journalist based in Kyiv, Ukraine.

JESSE RAMDEO

On Thursday, the world awoke to news that Russia had invaded Ukraine and launched a military attack.

Already there have been reports that Ukrainian civilians have died in the assault.

According to the Ukrainian military, Russian forces have been killed and at least six of its war planes destroyed.

Guardian Media’s Jesse Ramdeo has been in contact with Raul Kiria, a journalist based in Kyiv. Kiria sent this response to questions, earlier today:

“Situation is very intense on all of Ukraine’s territories, Russian occupation forces are trying to invade all of Ukraine. Our representatives are currently located in Odessa and Kyiv. People are in panic because from every side and border Russian forces are attacking and they are trying to occupy whole Ukraine; people are helpless. Ukrainian Army forces are trying to defend and repulse Russian forces, but nothing is possible without the help of international concord. Leaving Ukraine alone at this point is a crime against humanity… Every nation in the world who has ambition for democracy should do everything to hold Putin’s aggression—so that people can leave in peace.”

Tensions escalated after Russia demanded that the West gives a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not hold any military activity in eastern Europe and Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin claims Ukraine is a puppet of the West and was never a proper state anyway.