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 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.
A Kalibr missile hits the Western-most Ivano-Frankivsk airport pic.twitter.com/YThzkkasXT
— Christo Grozev (@christogrozev) February 24, 2022
Russia has hit Ukrainian military installations with air and missile strikes across the country.
Civilian buildings have been also hit, like this apartment block 300 m from Chuhuiv airbase.
Russian forces have indiscriminately employed unguided Smerch rockets in civilian areas. pic.twitter.com/FwDg75wWRY
— CIT (en) (@CITeam_en) February 24, 2022
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.
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.
As Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, lines of cars moved out of the capital, Kyiv, many heading west and hoping to find safety in parts of the country closer to Poland and NATO troops.
Follow live updates. https://t.co/PAz9fDpKyG pic.twitter.com/mvwKd3n4zw
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 24, 2022
I am at Kharkiv train station: hundreds of people are queuing to buy tickets and flee eastern #Ukraine… pic.twitter.com/TCxSEOsbHc
— Sara Cincurova (@Sara_Cincurova) February 24, 2022
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.
A person is detained by police during an anti-war protest, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Moscow, Russia February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina pic.twitter.com/2KQE535iTZ
— Idrees Ali (@idreesali114) February 24, 2022
In #Novosibirsk, #Russia, local residents are marching in #protest against the Russian invasion of #Ukraine:pic.twitter.com/LjgAosDJXg
— Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) February 24, 2022
Quite a crowd of anti-war protesters outside the Great Gostiny Dvor in St. Petersburg. Police have reportedly arrested more than 180 people, but there are many more left standing. Video from Anna Klimenko. pic.twitter.com/pZu35u1dRx
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) February 24, 2022
Protests have also been called across Europe.
The number of protesters are swelling across from Downing street demanding more stringent sanctions and an end to Russian aggression pic.twitter.com/GCjrJf1qse
— Megan Specia (@meganspecia) February 24, 2022
About 2,500 people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Thursday to protest against the Russian invasion. For the second time this week, the city had illuminated the landmark in blue and yellow to express solidarity with Ukraine.
Follow updates: https://t.co/hKLhojLcq4 pic.twitter.com/XH3ax96Q36
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 24, 2022
Hundreds of protestors marched in Melbourne and Sydney on Thursday night.