Ukraine says Russian forces are in Kyiv

Source: 1News

Recap live updates of the second day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

What you need to know:

- Russian President Vladimir Putin announces a military operation in Ukraine shortly before 6am Moscow time (Thursday afternoon NZT).

- In a televised address, Putin claims the operation is intended to protect civilians. He says the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine. He adds that Russia doesn’t have a goal to occupy Ukraine.

- At least 137 Ukrainians reportedly died on the first day of the attacks. The UK defence secretary says Russia had lost more than 450 personnel. Russia says it’s destroyed at least 118 Ukrainian military facilities.

- New Zealand has condemned the military operation.

- World leaders, including US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have announced harsh sanctions.

- Russian forces have made it to Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s Defence Ministry and multiple reports.

11.50pm: We’re signing off for the evening, thank you for joining us.

11.45pm: The BBC reports that the UN Human Rights Office says there have been at least 25 civilians killed in Ukraine, and at least 102 injured.

The spokesperson says the figures are likely to be an under-estimate.

Meanwhile, Kyiv’s residents are bracing for more attacks. People are hiding in bomb shelters and train stations are filling up. It’s just after midday there.

11.30pm: From the Associated Press:

China is holding back from labelling Russia’s attack on Ukraine as an invasion.

At the same time, it is upholding the sanctity of territorial sovereignty, in a nod to its own insistence that Taiwan is part of China.

“The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and maintained,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin says.

“At the same time, we also see that the issue of Ukraine has its own complex and special historical merits, and we understand Russia’s legitimate concerns on security issues,” he adds.

Wang did not answer questions about whether China would recognise the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, in Ukrainian territory claimed by Russia, as independent states.

Meanwhile, Hungary has extended temporary legal protection to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, as countries in eastern Europe prepare for the arrival of refugees at their borders.

Hungary, which borders Ukraine to the west, has in the past taken a firm stance against all forms of immigration. It has controversially refused to accept refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

But in a decree, Hungary’s government announced all Ukrainian citizens arriving from Ukraine, and all third-country nationals legally residing there, would be entitled to protection.

The section applying to third-country nationals makes it possible for non-Ukrainians — for example, Belarussian refugees living in Ukraine — to receive protection in the European Union.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban says Hungary will play no part in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but that it would accept refugees arriving at its borders.

11.03pm: Paris is replacing St Petersburg as Champions League final host, after Russia was stripped of hosting it by the UEFA after its invasion of Ukraine.

10.45pm: The Associated Press reports Russia’s military claims it has destroyed 118 Ukrainian military assets since the beginning of its assault on its neighbour.

The claim is not independently verified and was not confirmed by Ukraine amid a flurry of claims and counterclaims by each side.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov says that among the targets were 11 Ukrainian air bases, 13 command facilities, 36 air defence radars, 14 air defence missile systems, five warplanes, 18 tanks and warships.

However, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace rejects Russian claims of success on the first day of its invasion of Ukraine, saying it had “failed to deliver” on its day one objectives.

“They’ve lost over 450 personnel,’’ he says.

9.46pm: The Parliament of Ukraine says radiation from Chernobyl has exceeded control levels in multiple observation points.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal confirmed earlier the Chernobyl exclusion zone and all the structures of the decommissioned nuclear power plant there are now under the control of Russian forces.

He says there have been no casualties related to the capture. However, the US says Ukrainian soldiers are being held hostage in Chernobyl.

Ukraine’s nuclear energy regulatory agency attributes the rise to “disturbance of the topsoil due to the movement of a large amount of heavy military equipment through the exclusion zone and the release of contaminated radioactive dust into the air”.

9.39pm: A wrap of the latest developments from Australia’s Channel Nine here:

9.34pm: The UK defence secretary says this evening that Russia had lost more than 450 personnel in its invasion of Ukraine, and is “behind its hopeful timetable”, the Associated Press reports.

Speaking to UK broadcaster Sky News, Ben Wallace says it’s clear that Russia never intended to limit its invasion to the Donbas region and plans to take the “whole of Ukraine”.

He says the UK won’t put British fighter jets directly against Russian jets to set up a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

“I would have to put British fighter jets directly against Russian fighter jets.

“NATO would have to effectively declare war on Russia. Because that’s what you would do.”

9.30pm: Ukraine’s Defence Ministry tweets Russian operatives have made it to Kyiv and are in Obolon.

They’re advising locals to seek shelter and make Molotov cocktails to “neutralise the occupier”.

The ministry has also posted a graphic video appearing to show bodies of Russian soldiers they say they’ve “defeated” near Oleshky in Ukraine’s south.

9.25pm: From Reuters reporter Phil Stewart:

9.20pm: Some Ukrainians continue to flee, as fighting continues in their home. These images from the Astely-Beregsurany border crossing to Hungary:

People walk with their belongings at the Astely-Beregsurany border crossing as they flee Ukraine on February 25, 2022 in Beregsurany, Hungary.
Ukrainians Flee To Hungary amid Russia's armed invasion on February 25, 2022.

9.16pm: Bellingcat’s executive director Christo Grozev with video from Kyiv.

9.14pm: BBC journalist Paul Adams reports gunfire has been heard in Kyiv.

9.05pm: Zelenskyy says he’s held talks with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“Today, Ukraine needs the support of partners more than ever,” Zelenskyy tweets.

“We demand effective counteraction to the Russian Federation. Sanctions must be further strengthened.”

9.03pm: Gennadiy Laguta, the Mayor of Kherson in southern Ukraine, is urging residents to head to a shelter.

Шановні жителі Херсонщини❗️ Знайдіть найближче до вас укриття! Перелік найпростіших укриттів (підвальні приміщення...

Posted by Геннадій Лагута on Thursday, February 24, 2022

9.01pm: AFP reports there are clashes in the northern district of Kyiv city.

8.50pm: Russian troops are continuing to press their offensive, the Associated Press reports.

Russian troops have entered the city of Sumy near the border with Russia. The city sits on a highway leading to Kyiv from the east.

The regional governor, Dmytro Zhivitsky, says Ukrainian forces fought Russian troops in the city overnight, but other Russian convoys continue to roll west toward the Ukrainian capital.

“Military vehicles from Sumy are moving toward Kyiv,” Zhivitsky says.

“Much equipment has passed through and is heading directly to the west.”

Zhivitsky adds that another northeastern city, Konotop, was also sieged.

8.40pm: “I’ve been shocked by the events of recent days, and am horrified by the images emerging from the frontlines,” writes New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Facebook.

I know many of you will have seen the news coming out of Ukraine over the past 24 hours, so I wanted to write an update...

Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Thursday, February 24, 2022

“My thoughts today are with the people in Ukraine impacted by this conflict. Decades of peace and security in the region have been undermined. The institutions built to avoid conflict have been threatened, and we stand resolute in our support for those who now bear the brunt of Russia’s decision.

“We repeat our call for Russia to act consistently with its international obligations, to cease military operations in Ukraine, and return to diplomatic negotiations to resolve this conflict.

“My final message is for those within New Zealand who have friends or family in Ukraine. I can only imagine how worried you are right now. You’re at the forefront of our minds: we stand with you during these difficult times.”

8.30pm: Ukraine’s army says they’re fighting Russian forces outside Kyiv, reports the AFP.

8.15pm: This analysis from the Associated Press’ John Daniszewski, a former correspondent in Eastern Europe who has written about European affairs since the 1980s:

It has been a long time since the threat of using nuclear weapons has been brandished so openly by a world leader, but Putin has just done it, warning in a speech that he has the weapons available if anyone dares to use military means to try to stop Russia’s takeover of Ukraine.

The threat may have been empty, a mere baring of fangs by the Russian president, but it was noticed. It kindled visions of a nightmarish outcome in which Putin’s ambitions in Ukraine could lead to nuclear war through accident or miscalculation.

“As for military affairs, even after the dissolution of the USSR and losing a considerable part of its capabilities, today’s Russia remains one of the most powerful nuclear states,” Putin said in his pre-invasion address yesterday.

“Moreover, it has a certain advantage in several cutting-edge weapons. In this context, there should be no doubt for anyone that any potential aggressor will face defeat and ominous consequences should it directly attack our country.”

By merely suggesting a nuclear response, Putin put into play the disturbing possibility that the current fighting in Ukraine might eventually veer into an atomic confrontation between Russia and the United States.

That apocalyptic scenario is familiar to those who grew up during the Cold War, an era when American schoolchildren were told to duck and cover under their desks in case of nuclear sirens, But that danger gradually receded from the public imagination after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when the two powers seemed to be on a glide path to disarmament, democracy, and prosperity.

8.04pm: More images now from Kyiv, as firefighters work to put out the blaze at the damaged residential building in Kyiv.

7.57pm: BBC reporter Nick Beake says at least eight people have been injured in Pozniake, Kyiv.

It comes as explosions continue to rock Ukraine’s capital.

7.30pm: Zelenskyy says he will give posthumous honours to the 13 Snake Island security guards who reportedly refused to surrender to a Russian warship in the Black Sea.

The warship tells the Ukrainian guards to surrender their weapons, or they would open fire.

Audio of the guards’ final words to the warship — “go f*** yourself” — is circulating on social media.

This from Ukrainian news site Українська правда (Ukrayinska Pravda):

7.00pm: Zelenskyy is appealing for a ceasefire.

He says Russia will have to talk with Ukraine “sooner or later” about how to end hostilities.

The quicker Russia starts the conversation, the smaller its losses will be, he adds.

6.57pm: Ukranian President Zelenskyy is confirming reports of pre-dawn missile strikes in an address to the nation.

He says the strikes in residential areas began at 4am local time.

Zelenskyy thanks people in Russia who protested Moscow’s actions.

“Fight for us. Fight against war,” he tells them.

He asks the West for help, saying the country was “defending our state alone” and that other countries are “watching from afar”.

6.45pm: NATO member Denmark will deploy about 200 soldiers to Estonia in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Denmark’s government says it will also send two F-16 fighter jets to police Poland’s air space.

The decisions are pending parliamentary approval.

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says the country is also preparing to receive refugees from Ukraine.

6.35pm: The Associated Press reports:

The messages, videos and photos flying across Twitter, Facebook and Telegram far outnumber the airstrikes raining down on Ukraine. They claim to show Russian fighter jets being shot down or Ukrainians dodging for cover in their own homes.

Some are real, horrifying images of this war. Others had been lurking on the internet for years. The invasion of Ukraine is shaping up to be Europe’s first major armed conflict of the social media age when the small screen of the smartphone is the dominant tool of communication, carrying with it the peril of an instantaneous spread of dangerous, even deadly, disinformation.

TikTok videos, propagandised headlines and tweets pinging out across screens around the world are confusing millions about the reality of how this battle is unfolding on the ground.

Across Telegram and Twitter, Russia’s attack on Ukraine was both “unprovoked” and “necessary”, depending on the sender of the message.

“The prayers of the world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” US President Joe Biden tweets to his 40 million followers.

Russian state media, however, echoes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments across its platforms, with RT News blasting to hundreds of thousands of followers on Telegram that the action was “necessary”.

Over the last few days, Putin and Russian media have ramped up false accusations that Ukrainians are committing genocide, and mischaracterising the majority of the country’s population as Nazis, says Bret Schafer, who heads the information manipulation team at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a non-partisan think tank in Washington.

Last week, for example, RT’s news director claimed on live television, without evidence, that Ukrainians might start gassing their own people.

“You’ve really seen this escalation of the narrative that Russia needs to protect from this Nazi mob of genocidal Ukrainians,” Schafer says.

6.22pm: Vitali Klitschko, the Mayor of Kyiv, says the residential building that was reportedly hit by a Russian rocket earlier is on fire and three people have been injured.

6.20pm: The Ukrainian ambassador to Japan is urging China to join international efforts to stop the Russian “massacre” in his country amid Beijing’s lack of criticism of Moscow’s actions, the Associated Press reports.

“We would very much welcome that China exercises its connection with Russia and talks to Putin and explains to him that it is inappropriate in the 21st century to do this massacre in Europe,” Ukrainian diplomat Sergiy Korsunsky tells a news conference in Tokyo.

China has not criticised Russia over its actions against Ukraine and has joined in verbal attacks on Washington and its allies.

“I do believe China can play a much more active role to work with Putin in a manner we expect for civilized countries to do,” Korsunsky says.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is accusing China of throwing Russia a lifeline by easing the effect of trade restrictions.

Of course, New Zealand has a relationship with China.

“So, diplomatically, it makes this tricky,” 1News political editor Jessica Mutch McKay says.

When asked about the situation, Ardern says countries were watching each others’ actions.

“At this stage, I am heartened by unity of voice. I make no assumptions around where other countries will necessarily fall. But, I do hope they see that unity,” she says.

6.12pm: 1News reporter Vandhna Bhan was outside the Russian embassy in Wellington earlier today, where almost 100 protesters supporting Ukraine gathered. She reports:

Red paint was spilt on the footpath outside the embassy. Many tell 1News they’re fearing the bloodshed to come, and for their families at home.

“I’m scared in Ukraine there is a law that everyone aged 18 [is] called into the army. Everyone who can bear guns goes in the army. I’ve got [a] 19-year-old nephew. Can you imagine sending in a 19-year-old to be at the front line?” says protester Tanya Harper.

“I’m scared I will never see my family ever again.”

Pro-Ukraine protesters outside the Russian Embassy in Wellington on February 25, 2022.

Another protester, Ukrainian Kiwi Lana Burns, has family in Kyiv.

“Half of them slept underground because it’s not safe to be in the apartments. They don’t even have any connection, not even phone because satellite connections shut down,” she says.

6.00pm: The S&P/NZX50 has recovered slightly from yesterday’s 3.3 per cent drop.

It ended today up 1.62 per cent, or 190.8 points, at 11,923.

Yesterday’s slide was the worst day for the local sharemarket since March 23, 2020, when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country was moving to Alert Level 3 from the day after, then Alert Level 4 in 48 hours.

5.53pm: The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells 1News “no military-grade equipment has been exported to a military end user in Russia since electronic records began in 2006″.

So, while New Zealand can’t check exactly where its exports end up, the Russian military has not been a direct purchaser.

5.45pm: The Associated Press has filed this update:

Russian forces that entered Ukraine through Belarus are within kilometres of reaching Kyiv, according to US officials.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin tells lawmakers on a phone call that Russian mechanised forces that entered from Belarus are about 32 kilometres from Kyiv, according to a person familiar with the call.

The call reportedly took place about five hours ago.

The officials describe another Russian element that entered Ukraine from Russia as being a bit further away, but that both are headed toward Kyiv with the goal of encircling the city and potentially toppling the Ukrainian government, according to the lawmaker on the call.

5.42pm: Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, calls the “Russian rocket strikes” in Kyiv “horrific”.

“Last time our capital experienced anything like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany,” he tweets.

5.38pm: The Vice President of Taiwan 賴清德 (Lai Ching-te) says Taiwan is standing with Ukraine.

“The principle of self-determination cannot be erased by brute force,” he tweets.

5.30pm: French President Emmanuel Macron has become the first major Western leader to speak with Putin after he launched military operations in Ukraine yesterday.

An official at France’s presidential office tells the Associated Press Macron demanded Putin halt military operations immediately.

According to the official at the Elysee Palace, Macron called Putin from Brussels just before the start of an urgent meeting of European Union leaders focusing on sanctions against Russia earlier today.

The official says Macron made the call after consulting with Zelenskyy. Maron reminded Putin “that Russia was facing massive sanctions”.

According to the Kremlin’s report on the call, Putin and Macron agreed to continue their contacts.

5.20pm: The Associated Press has filed this update:

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his government had information “subversive groups” were encroaching on the city of Kyiv.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Kyiv “could well be under siege” in what US officials believe is a brazen attempt by Putin to dismantle the government and replace it with his own regime.

5.08pm: Some debate among New Zealand MPs. This from National’s Chris Penk and Chris Bishop:

The Prime Minister says Russia’s actions amount to an “illegal invasion of Ukraine”.

“New Zealand calls on Russia to do what is right and immediately cease military operations in Ukraine and permanently withdraw to avoid a catastrophic and pointless loss of innocent life,” Jacinda Ardern says.

Among the actions taken by the New Zealand Government include targeted travel bans, the prohibition of the export of goods to Russian military and security forces, and the suspension of bilateral foreign ministry consultations until further notice.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says New Zealand is also exploring its options to provide humanitarian aid.

5.04pm: This from BBC reporter Paul Adams:

4.53pm: The BBC reports a Russian rocket has reportedly crashed into a residential apartment block in Kyiv.

Earlier, the Russian Defence Ministry says it’s destroyed 83 Ukrainian military facilities.

4.48pm: Foreign Policy journalist Jack Detsch reports:

4.44pm: The exhaustion and worry among residents in Ukraine are palpable, the Associated Press reports. It’s just after 5.30am in Ukraine.

“Nobody believed that this war would start and that they would take Kyiv directly,” says Anton Mironov, who waited out the night in one of the old Soviet metro stations.

“I feel mostly fatigue. None of it feels real.”

Another woman in Mariupol was pictured holding her cat in a shelter during shelling from Russia.

4.37pm: More from Kyiv, where a video from independent Russian media channel Дождь (Dozhd, also known as TV Rain) shows an explosion in the sky:

4.32pm: From the Associated Press:

China’s Embassy in Ukraine says it is arranging evacuation flights for Chinese citizens.

An embassy statement today says conditions in Ukraine have “deteriorated sharply” but makes no mention of the Russian invasion. The embassy gave no details on where the evacuation flights would be leaving from, nor did it say when the charter flights might happen.

The statement says scheduling will depend on the “flight safety situation”. It says travellers should be packed and ready to react quickly once flight schedules are announced.

4.22pm: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal confirms the Chernobyl exclusion zone and all the structures of the decommissioned nuclear power plant there are now under the control of Russian forces.

He says there have been no casualties related to the capture. However, the US says Ukrainian soldiers are being held hostage in Chernobyl.

4.18pm: Anton Herashchenko, an official with the Ukrainian interior ministry, says a Russian aircraft has been shot down over the Darnytskyi district of Kyiv, the BBC reports.

The claim is yet to be verified, but it follows numerous explosions reported in Kyiv in the past hour.

4.10pm: The Ukrainian Gromada of Wellington is planning a protest at noon tomorrow in Civic Square.

It follows a number of other anti-war protests around the world. This from outside the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York City:

People gathered near the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York City on February 24, 2022, to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggression on Ukraine.
Anti-war protesters outside the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York City on February 24, 2022.

4.03pm: Mark Wright is New Zealand’s Honorary Consul to Ukraine. He lives in Kyiv and has been in the role for about nine years.

Wright has spoken with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Friday. He says there’s a feeling of “you know what’s going on but you don’t know what’s going to happen next”.

“Starting from about 6.00am... we could hear the first blasts as missiles came into different areas outside of Kyiv,” Wright says.

“Then it’s been sporadic through the day. You think things are quite normal on the street and then suddenly you’ll hear these big boom… like one just went off… oh God… one just went off then. That was much closer.”

He says no communication or power had been taken out as yet.

“Most of the targeting is going on around the airports, or the strategic places that are situated around here.”

He is traditionally the first point of contact for New Zealanders in Ukraine and says some had flown out to Turkey, or gone on to Poland to seek refuge.

Some like him have stayed in Ukraine.

He says as long as there was no “direct danger”, he wouldn’t leave yet.

“I’ve loved living in this country, I still do and I still hope that it will be a country that returns to some normality without a regime that destroys what is absolutely a beautiful place.”

3.56pm: CNN reports that Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, says Kyiv has been hit with cruise or ballistic missiles in the past half hour.

3.45pm: Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has called the developments in Ukraine “shocking”.

Clark tells RNZ the threat to global peace posed by Russia’s invasion bears similarities to Germany’s actions in early World War II.

She adds that Putin has aspirations to restore Russia’s power over areas that used to be part of the Soviet Union.

“He’s trying to rebuild what he sees as the past glory, this is not rational, and that’s what makes it particularly dangerous.”

3.39pm: CNN reporters in Kyiv are also reporting hearing two nearby blasts and a third explosion in the distance.

3.36pm: From Foreign Policy journalist Terrell Jermaine Starr, from about 10 minutes ago:

And Trey Yingst of Fox News:

3.30pm: Asian shares have rebounded from yesterday.

Benchmarks are up in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

It also follows the recovery of US shares.

However, prices for oil and other commodities have risen sharply.

3.23pm: European Union leaders have agreed on a second package of economic and financial sanctions on Russia.

The EU Council president accuses Russia of using “fake pretexts and bad excuses” for justifying its invasion of Ukraine and says sanctions will hurt the government,

The legal texts for the sanctions are being finalised and will be submitted to EU foreign affairs ministers in the coming hours.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen tells the Associated Press the package includes targeting 70 per cent of the Russian banking market and key state-owned companies.

She says Russia’s energy sector also will be targeted “by making it impossible for Russia to upgrade its refineries”. There will also be a ban on sales of software, semiconductors and airliners to Russia.

3.15pm: For months, the White House made highly unusual releases of intelligence findings about Putin’s plans to attack Ukraine.

Hoping to preempt an invasion, it released details of Russian troop buildups and warned repeatedly that a major assault was imminent.

In the end, Putin attacked anyway. So, did knowledge of those plans matter in the end? The Associated Press’ analysis here.

3.02pm: Ukranian Kiwi Corinne Seals says it’s been an emotional and intense 24 hours.

Ukranian Kiwi Corinne Seals.

She tells 1News she’s worried for her friends still in Ukraine.

“I didn’t ever think it would happen to this scale,” she says of Russia’s actions.

“It’s always been a sense of something could happen just because of the history of the region and the unpredictability of Putin’s government. But, to this scale and so aggressively and so quickly, I don’t think anyone really believed that would happen.”

2.53pm: The UK’s Ministry of Defence says it can confirm Russian forces have “highly likely” captured Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

“Workers have reportedly been detained by Russian troops.”

The ministry says Ukrainian forces have reportedly halted Russia’s advance towards Chernihiv, and that fighting was probably continuing on the outskirts of the city.

“It is unlikely that Russia has achieved its planned day one military objectives. Ukrainian forces have presented fierce resistance across all axes of Russia’s advance,” the Ministry of Defence adds.

2.42pm: Demonstrators are gathering outside the White House to protest against Russia’s military actions. They’re asking US President Joe Biden to take a more aggressive response to Russia.

Biden has indicated he won’t be sending American troops to Ukraine. He has ordered thousands of additional troops to NATO ally Germany, however.

Demonstrators gather at the White House calling for President Joe Biden to take a more aggressive response to Russia's actions in regards to the invasion of Ukraine.
Elena Quiles and Oleksandra Yashan, both of Arlington join other demonstrators gather at the White House to protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

2.40pm: From Washington Post’s Ukraine-based correspondent:

2.36pm: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is accusing China of throwing Russia a lifeline by easing the effect of trade restrictions, the Associated Press reports.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Morrison is reacting to a report in The South China Morning Post that China had announced it was fully open to Russian wheat imports.

Morrison notes that Australia, the United States, Britain, the European Union and Japan are imposing sanctions on Russia, and says China‘s easing of trade restrictions “is simply unacceptable”.

“I would urge all nations to decide this is not a time to be easing trade restrictions with Russia,” he says.

“This is of great concern to Australia that these acts are not being called out with the same voice when it comes to those in our region.”

2.32pm: From the Associated Press:

The White House says its latest round of sanctions it’s imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine will ensure Putin’s decision will be “a strategic failure”.

The measures announced by Biden block the assets of four large Russian banks, impose export controls and sanction oligarchs.

The penalties fall in line with the White House’s insistence that it would look to hit Russia’s financial system and Putin’s inner circle, while also imposing export controls that would aim to starve Russia’s industries and military of US semiconductors and other high-tech products.

“These impacts over time will translate into higher inflation, higher interest rates, lower purchasing power, lower investment, lower productive capacity, lower growth and lower living standards in Russia,” deputy National Security advisor Daleep Singh says.

“To be clear, this is not the outcome we wanted. It’s both a tragedy for the people of Ukraine and a very raw deal for the Russian people. But Putin’s war of choice has required that we do what we says and to ensure this will be a strategic failure.”

2.30pm: Green MP Golriz Ghahraman says she recalls the wartime sanctions she endured growing up in Iran.

“We had to queue for hours to get fuel and basics became scarce while the Ayatollahs were immune and the violence continued. Loud, firm, diplomacy, calling every ally, every trading partner, please, now!”

2.20pm: Japan has announced additional sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says the new measures include freezing the assets of Russian groups, banks and individuals and suspending exports of semiconductors and other sensitive goods to military-linked organizations in Russia.

“Japan must clearly show its position that we will never tolerate any attempt to change the status quo by force,” Kishida says.

1.25pm: Dozens of people are outside the Embassy of Russia in Wellington on Friday to protest, many with kids as well.

Protesters outside the Embassy of Russia in Wellington on Friday.

They have signs reading ‘Putin is a murderer’ and ‘hands off Ukraine’ as they chant “shame on Russia” and “Putin terrorist”.

A person in a car tried to enter the embassy but was stopped by a few protesters slamming on the car, one saying: "I will never see my mother again."

People protesting outside the Embassy of Russia in Wellington on Friday.

A member of the Russian embassy stepped out momentarily but said nothing.

Eggs have also been thrown at the building.

One police car has arrived at the scene.

1.05pm: Watch the video below for 1News' Midday wrap:

12.30pm: Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has assured the invasion and any resulting curtailment of Russian oil supply, won't affect New Zealand's fuel supply.

"New Zealand does not purchase any oil or oil products from Russia so would not be directly affected if Russian oil supply is curtailed," she says.

12.10pm: The BBC has reported, citing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, that 137 Ukrainians died on first day of the Russian invasion.

12.05pm: Speaking from the beehive, Ardern on Friday gave an address, joining other world leaders, in condemning the attack.

"An unthinkable number of lives could be lost because of Russia's decision," she says.

"New Zealand calls on Russia to do what is right and immediately cease military operations in Ukraine and permanently withdraw to avoid a catastrophic and pointless loss of innocent life.

"The invasion poses a significant threat to peace and security in the region and will trigger a humanitarian and refugee crisis, with reports already of large numbers of people in Kyiv making their way towards the western border."

Ardern says New Zealand has immediately implemented a number of measures in response to the invasion. Read more here.

11.35am: New Zealand journalist Tom Mutch, who is based in Kyiv, Ukraine, tells 1News he was woken up at about 6am (local time) by the sounds of the attacks.

"So ever since then it's just been go go go," he says.

“It’s very strange in a sense because of course people are scared, they’re very scared for their homes and their families and themselves, however... there’s quite a remarkable sense of, not quite calm, but people are not panicking - there’s no fighting, or looting, or rioting or anything like that breaking out so in that sense it’s been quite reassuring, but everyone is a bit worried.

“A lot of people have told me, ‘look, we live with the threat of war, we knew one day this day could come’.”

11.05am: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern will hold a press conference about the Ukraine situation at midday today from Wellington. It will be livestreamed here on 1News and the new developments will be posted in these live updates.

On Thursday, in the build up to Russia's full scale invasion, New Zealand's ambassador to the United Nations condemned Russia's "provocative actions".

10.35am: The world has lit up in support of Ukraine following the attacks:

10.25am: UEFA will no longer host the Champions League final in St Petersburg after Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday, The Associated Press has reported.

It comes as the Ukrainian soccer federation issued a statement calling for the Champions League final to be moved and for all Russian club and national teams to be suspended from international competitions.

10.20am: More than 1000 Russians protesting against Putin's invasion on Ukraine have been arrested, according to the Associated Press.

The news agency says 1745 people in 54 Russian cities had been detained, including at least 957 in Moscow.

People marched the streets, some chanting ‘no to war’.

Several Russian celebrities and public figures, including some working for state TV, have also spoken out against the attack.

10.10am: Save the Children says the escalation in hostilities across Ukraine is putting at least 7.5 million children in “grave danger of physical harm, severe emotional distress, and displacement”.

In a statement on Friday, Save the Children’s eastern Europe director Irina Saghoyan says: “Ukraine’s children are caught in the crossfire of this adult war. It should never have come to this.

"Our most immediate concern is the risk to their health and well-being - in conflict, everything is on the table - death, injury, sexual violence, protection risks. Children are terrified."

10am: Ukraine’s Health Minister Viktor Lyashko says 57 Ukrainians have been killed as a result of the Russian invasion, and 169 more were wounded, the Associated Press reported.

Lyashko also says that Ukraine’s authorities are repurposing the country’s health care facilities to make room for those who need medical assistance because of the hostilities.

9.50am: Check out this explainer on the historical background leading up to Ukraine invasion:

9.45am: University of Otago's specialist in international affairs Professor Robert Patman has weighed in on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

He tells Breakfast the cost in human terms would likely be “catastrophic”, and that Russia could completely take over Ukraine.

“There is the potential for high loss of life on both sides.”

He says Putin’s end game, is likely to remove Ukraine’s “pro-Western government”, and establish one that is pro-Russian instead.

9.40am: Ukrainian politician Oleh Liashko claims Ukraine has taken back control at Hostomel (or Gostomel) Airport.

"Glory to the Ukrainian Army! Death to the Russian fascist aggressors!" he Tweeted.

9.05am: Filmmaker and actor Sean Penn is in Ukraine to continue work on a documentary about the ongoing Russian assault, according to the Associated Press.

It's understood Penn attended press briefings, met with Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk and spoke to journalists and military personnel about the Russian invasion.

9am: The Associated Press has filed this update:

A Russian military plane crashed in the country’s Voronezh region that borders with Ukraine, the Russian military says.

The An-26 plane was carrying out a planned flight transporting military equipment and crashed because of technical failure, military officials say, adding that the plane’s entire crew died in the crash.

They didn't specify how many crew members were on board of the plane.

8.35am: More than 100,000 Ukrainians are fleeing their homes in Kyiv, some arriving in Poland on Friday morning, amid Russia’s large-scale invasion.

Ukraine's neighbours are preparing for an estimated wave of 5 million people seeking refuge in the coming weeks.

Large traffic jams have built up on the roads heading west out of Kyiv after Ukraine closed its airspace to civilian flights.

The latest report from the Ukrainian President's office is that more than 40 soldiers and up to 10 civilians are understood to have been killed so far.

8.15am: Thousands are marching streets in Russia, some chanting “no to war”, in protest to Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

These protesters are doing so at great risk as opposition political figures have been imprisoned for speaking out against Putin.

8.05am: Repeating a plea for Russia to halt its invasion of Ukraine, the UN chief says on Friday the world body was freeing up $20 million (NZD $29.94 million) for urgent humanitarian needs in the country, according to the Associated Press.

“Stop the military operation. Bring the troops back to Russia... It’s not too late to save this generation from the scourge of war,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says at UN headquarters.

7.45am: “Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war and now he and his country will bear the consequences,” US President Joe Biden says in his first remarks since Russia launched its attack on Ukraine on Thursday.

"Today I'm authorising additional strong sanctions and new limitations on what can be exported to Russia. This is going to impose severe cost on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.

"We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximise the long-term impact on Russia and to minimise the impact on the United States and our allies."

7.30am: On a map, New Zealand may be a long way from Ukraine.

But that doesn’t mean Kiwis aren’t affected.

Ukrainian migrants living in Aotearoa, many of whom have family still there, have banded together, organising peaceful protests against Russia’s aggression to show support for their country.

Ukraine migrant and peaceful protester Yana Khorozova tells Breakfast on Friday morning her parents are in the capital, Kyiv.

“They woke up just before 5am their local time from the explosions in the airport, in the international airport,” Khorozova says.

“I was speaking to them about 5pm last night and they said that they woke up from the windows shaking, the explosions so far away, can you imagine how powerful how they were 30 kilometres away by the airport.”

7.25am: The Associated Press has reported that Ukraine lost control of the Chernobyl nuclear site, where Ukranian forces had waged a fierce battle with Russian troops.

6.45am: Russia's actions are sending shockwaves across the globe and the ripples will reach New Zealand.

Nigel Brunel, from OMF Financial Markets, explains what effect all of this will have on the economy in Aotearoa.

He tells Breakfast the energy markets have reacted to the news “exactly as expected”.

"I think it's 30-odd per cent of European's gas coming in from Russia, and I think 70 per cent of Russia's exports so we've seen big jumps in gas and oil markets.

"I mean, all markets were moving up before this anyway, there's been constraints for quite a while, right, so this is really just having the expected impact of seeing quite a rise in both the price of oil and the price of gas.

"Those kind of markets don't like political uncertainty."

Brunel also says the New Zealand stock market did drop “quite a bit” on Thursday, so there’ll be potential impacts to people’s investments and KiwiSaver.

However, Brunel urged Kiwis not to panic.

“This is all part and parcel of having investments — they go up, they go sideways, they go down.”

6.35am: Watch the latest BBC report that played on Breakfast early on Friday morning below:

6.20am: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he would aim to cut Russia off from the UK’s financial markets as he announced a new set of sanctions in response to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.

The sanctions include freezing the assets of all major Russian banks, including VTB Bank, the nation’s second-biggest bank, Johnson says.

Britain also plans to bar Russian companies and the Russian government from raising money on UK markets.

6.10am The latest report from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office indicates more than 40 soldiers and up to 10 civilians have been killed so far.

6am: The Associated Press has filed this update:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensnkyy has urged Moscow to end hostilities, adding that Russian airborne troops have been checked outside Kyiv.

“It wasn’t Ukraine that chose the path of war, but Ukraine is offering to go back to the path of peace,” he says.

He says a Russian airborne force in Hostomel airport outside Kyiv, which has a big runway, has been stopped and is being destroyed.

The Ukrainian leader says many Russian warplanes and armoured vehicles were destroyed but didn’t give numbers. He also says an unspecified number of Russian troops was captured.

He says a difficult situation is developing in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city just over 20 kilometres from the Russian border. In the north the Russians are slowly advancing toward Chernihiv, Zelenskyy says.

He has put out an appeal to global leaders, saying that “if you don’t help us now, if you fail to offer strong assistance to Ukraine, tomorrow the war will knock on your door”.

G7 strongly condemns attack

Group of Seven leaders have strongly condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine.

The German government, which currently heads the G7, put out a joint statement after a virtual leaders’ meeting Thursday, vowing to bring “forward severe and coordinated economic and financial sanctions”.

It calls “on all partners and members of the international community to condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms, to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, and raise their voice against this blatant violation of the fundamental principles of international peace and security”.