Russia’s goal is to conquer Ukrainian territory in an “act of war” in violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty, the embassy of Ukraine in Cyprus said on Thursday.
Russia began an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday morning, in a biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two.
Its goal is to conquer Ukrainian territory and establish a regime loyal to Moscow, the Ukrainian embassy in Cyprus said in a written statement that described Russian’s actions “an act of war”.
The invasion constitutes a “flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the United Nations Charter and the fundamental principles of international law,” the embassy added.
Russian forces started firing missiles at several cities in Ukraine, including near the capital Kyiv, in the early hours on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a special military operation to demilitarise and “denazify” the country. Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory from Belarus and occupied Crimea.
In response, Ukraine has activated its right to self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter, with the Ukrainian military repelling attacks by Russian invading troops.
Reuters reported that Ukraine’s military said it destroyed four Russian tanks near the eastern city of Kharkiv, killed 50 troops near a town in the Luhansk region and downed a sixth Russian aircraft.
In its statement, the Ukrainian embassy refers to the steps the international community must take immediately to stop Russia. These include the imposition of devastating sanctions, including access to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system, the complete isolation of Russia by all possible means, and the provision of military equipment, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.