Explosions, Protests & Chernobyl: Here’s What Happened In Ukraine Overnight


Russia launched a military attack on Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning local time (2:30pm AEDT) and a lot has happened overnight.

Reporters in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and several other cities hundreds of kilometres apart recorded audible explosions in their broadcasts.

It has since been confirmed Russia has attacked Ukraine from the ground and from the air, with thousands now fleeing the country and dozens reported dead. Russia has also begun seizing control of parts of the country, including the site of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Here’s your summary of some key events:

Russia Invades

Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which world leaders have warned could be the biggest conflict in Europe since 1945.

The attack began after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced live on TV on Thursday morning AEDT he had authorised a “special military operation” on Ukraine after weeks of escalating tension.

By mid-afternoon AEDT, reports and broadcasts of explosions started to come in.

An hour later, around 3pm AEDT, Russia confirmed missile strikes in Ukraine.


Overnight the attacks on Ukraine have continued. Ukrainian officials said initials attacks came in the forms of cruise missiles, artillery and airstrikes.

On Friday morning AEDT Ukraine has said Russia had carried out 203 attacks and that fighting was raging across almost the entire territory.

Attacks have been confirmed in the major cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, Mariupol, Vuhledar and Kramatorsk, as well as several other smaller towns.

Russia’s defence ministry said overnight it had destroyed 74 Ukrainian military ground facilities, including a key military airport in Kyiv and another airport in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk.

Explosions have also been reported in the city of Boryspil.


Early on Friday morning AEDT Ukraine’s Health Minister Oleh Lyashko said 57 people had been killed and 169 wounded.

According to other Ukrainian reports, 18 people were killed in a missile attack in Odessa overnight. At least six people were killed in the town of Brovary near Kyiv.

Four people died when a bomb hit a hospital in the city of Vuhledar near the Russian border, and emergency services said a boy was killed in Kharkiv after shelling struck an apartment building.

On the Russian side, Ukraine’s military said it had killed 50 Russian troops, destroyed four Russian tanks and downed six Russian warplanes.

Ukrainians fleeing

Thousands of Ukrainians are trying to flee the country, but with airports under attack most are leaving by car or by foot.

Footage on social media has shown highways blocked with lines of cars moving out of cities and heading west.

Many are fleeing to neighbouring Poland, with Slovakia and Hungary also accepting displaced people.


Russian forces have captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after battling Ukrainian troops.

The Chernobyl plant reactors are still radioactive, decades after the devastating explosion.

The Ukraine National Guard was attempting to protect the radioactive waste storage.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak has said: “It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians.”

“This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today.”

Protests around the world

Anti-war protests have been called across Russia and around the world.

Protests that have taken place in 40 Russian cities despite aggression from Russian police and military. At least 705 protestors have been arrested.

Protests have also been called across Europe.

Hundreds of protestors marched in Melbourne and Sydney on Thursday night.