After months of speculation and tense waiting, citizens in Ukraine have woken up to sirens, and news that Eastern giant, Russia, has launched an attack on the country.
The military assault, which occurred at dawn on February 24, 2022, followed a televised statement by Russian President Putin in which he demanded for the country to lay down its arms.
Since the morning, Russian forces have crossed Ukraine’s north, south and eastern borders, including from Belarus.
Casting aside international condemnation and threats of sanctions, President Vladimir Putin has warned against any intervention.
So far, around 10 civilians are believed to have been killed, while Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, is seeing an evacuation of its habitants in a frenzied bid to escape Russian troops 35 kilometers away.
The launched attacks have sparked a wave of outrage and concern worldwide.
“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring. The world will hold Russia accountable,” said US President Joe Biden, vowing that Russia would face severe sanctions for its premeditated attack.
Similarly, other world leaders have slammed Russia’s attack and called for a strong response from the international community.
“We are facing an unprecedented act of aggression by the Russian leadership against a sovereign, independent country. Russia’s target is not only Donbas, the target is not only Ukraine, the target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order. And we will hold President Putin accountable for that,” reads an official statement by European Union President President von der Leyen.
“This is a grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security,” castigated NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg before adding, “I call on Russia to cease its military action immediately and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity NATO Allies will meet to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions.”
Meanwhile, several countries are struggling to ensure the safety of their nationals residing in Ukraine, including Egypt.
“We have formed an operations room dedicated to following the position of the Egyptian community in Ukraine, in light of the successive developments and changes,” stated Nabila Makram, Minister of Emigration on Thursday morning.
The Ministry of Emigration Dialogue Center for Egyptians studying abroad (MEDCE) is also in contact with Egyptian students in Ukraine. Expats and students from Egypt are estimated to be around 6,000.
Egyptian citizens residing in Ukraine have been advised to stay at home, as per a statement on the Embassy of Egypt in Kiev’s Facebook page.
The Embassy has also advised nationals to keep their official documents with them, and abide by state instructions.
Ukraine has closed its airspace to civil aviation, as per an official statement by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has also suspended rail transport, limiting movement from and to neighboring countries.
Citizens in Ukraine are tracking Russian troop movement on social media, namely through Telegram and Twitter, where footage of at least 20 helicopters at the northern borders, captured soldiers and the downing of aircrafts, are circulating.
Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to comment.