A journalist accidentally bumped into a group of Russian troops as they took over an airport in Ukraine.
Earlier today (24 February), Russian president Vladimir Putin announced the military invasion of Ukraine, with forces streaming over the border and air strikes witnessed across the country.
Attacks have also been reported in the north, in the capital Kyiv, with troops attempting to take over Antonov airport, which is around 15 miles outside the city.
CNN journalist Matthew Chance travelled to the airport to report on events there, and actually came across Russian troops as they took control of the site.
Reporting live from the scene, said: "These troops you can see over here, they are Russian airborne forces.
"Frankly, we didn't even know the Russian forces were going to be here. We assumed this was the Ukrainian forces .... We came to speak with them ... but only emerged during the conversation that they're all Russians and there are no Ukrainian military forces in sight..." pic.twitter.com/kgDkgR4O9c— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) February 24, 2022
"They have taken this airport, they have allowed us to come in and be with them as they defend the perimeter of this air base here, where helicopter troops, these troops, were landed in the early hours of this morning to take over and to form an air bridge to allow for more troops to come in.
"You can tell they're Russian, I've spoken to them already, you can tell they're Russian, they've got that orange and black band to identify them as Russian forces.
"I've spoken to the commander on the ground there within the past few minutes and he said they are now in control of this airport, and within the past few seconds, just before you came to us, they were engaged in a fire fight, presumably with the Ukrainian military, which states it is staging a counter offensive to try and take back this airport."
The reporter admitted that he had thought the soldiers were Ukrainian and only realised they were Russian while speaking to their commander.
"We didn't know the Russian forces were going to be here," he said. "We assumed this was the Ukrainian forces, so I went up to speak to the and say, 'Hey, we've come from Kyiv', but it only emerged during the conversation that they were all Russians and there were no Ukrainian military forces in sight, although I can hear them because they've been shooting ferociously in the course of the past few minutes."
He also explained that Ukrainian officials are fearful that Russian forces are attempting to take the capital and replace the government with a 'pro-Russian' regime.
"I'm standing outside the perimeter of this Antonov air base and it has not been taken back by the Ukrainian military, it is the Russian military who say they are now in control.
"This is about 20 miles from the centre of the Ukrainian capital, and so it just shows us now for the first time just how close Russian forces have got towards the centre of the Ukrainian capital."
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law and urged citizens not to panic after Russia launched military strikes earlier today.
During an address to the country, he said: "I talked to [US President Joe] Biden, [UK Prime Minister] Johnson, [President of the European Council] Charles Michel, [Polish President Andrzej] Duda, [Lithuanian President Gitanas] Nauseda.
"We started putting together an anti-Putin coalition.
"I have already urged global leaders to slam Putin with all possible sanctions, offer large-scale defence support and close the airspace over Ukraine for the aggressor. Together we must save Ukraine, save the democratic world, and we will do it."
Featured Image Credit: CNN
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