Ukraine says 5,000 dead in 'catastrophic' Mariupol siege

Russia says destroyed Ukraine airbases, air defences: news agencies


MOSCOW: The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that it had destroyed Ukraine’s military air base and its air defenses, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military offensive against its neighbor.

“Military infrastructure at Ukrainian army air bases has been rendered out of action,” the defence ministry said in a statement carried by news agencies, which added that Kyiv’s air defence systems were “eliminated”.

On the other hand, Ukrainian military claimed to have downed five Russian planes and a helicopter in the east of the country near a rebel-held enclave.

“According to the Joint Forces wCommand, today, February 24, in the area of the Joint Forces operation, five planes and a helicopter of the aggressors were shot down,” the army general staff said. 

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