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    Ukraine’s football league PAUSED for 30 days after Russia president Vladimir Putin launched invasion


    The Ukrainian Premier League has been paused for a minimum of 30 days after Russia president Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

    The league was meant to restart on Friday following its winter break but the league confirmed via their official website that the start has been delayed after the introduction of martial law overnight by Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

    There will now be doubts whether Ukraine’s World Cup play-off match against Scotland in Glasgow will take place as planned on March 24, while the British government have already stated that St Petersburg should be removed as host of the Champions League final on May 28.

    Russia have launched all-out war on Ukraine with missiles and bombs, tanks rolling across the border from Belarus, troops parachuted down on eastern regions and explosions seen across the country after Putin personally gave the order for his forces to attack.

    ‘Hundreds’ of Ukrainian troops were killed in early clashes, Kiev said, as the fight came to them on all fronts at a moment’s notice. Cruise missiles, guided bombs and GRAD rockets took out targets from east to west – aimed at airfields, military bases, ammo dumps, and command posts.

    It came after Vladimir Putin gave an extraordinary early-morning address to the Russian nation – delivered during a UN meeting aimed at avoiding war – in which he declared a ‘special military operation’ to ‘de-militarise’ and ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine in what amounted to an outright declaration of war.

    The Russian strongman also issued a chilling warning to any country thinking of coming to Ukraine’s aid, vowing ‘consequences greater than any you have faced in history’.

    The Ukrainian Premier League has been paused for a minimum of 30 days after Russia president Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine (pic: Olympic Stadium, Kyiv)

    The Ukrainian Premier League has been paused for a minimum of 30 days after Russia president Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine (pic: Olympic Stadium, Kyiv)

    The league was meant to restart on Friday following its winter break but the league confirmed via their official website that the start has been delayed after the introduction of martial law

    The league was meant to restart on Friday following its winter break but the league confirmed via their official website that the start has been delayed after the introduction of martial law

    A huge explosion is seen at Vinnytsia military base, in central Ukraine, as the country comes under all-out attack by Russia

    A huge explosion is seen at Vinnytsia military base, in central Ukraine, as the country comes under all-out attack by Russia

    An explosion lights up the night sky over Kiev in the early hours of Thursday, as Russia launched an all-out attack on Ukraine from north, south and east with bombs, cruise missiles and rockets raining from the skies

    An explosion lights up the night sky over Kiev in the early hours of Thursday, as Russia launched an all-out attack on Ukraine from north, south and east with bombs, cruise missiles and rockets raining from the skies

    Vladimir Putin is pictured in the early hours of Thursday morning declaring war on Ukraine, in what he termed a 'special military operation'

    Vladimir Putin is pictured in the early hours of Thursday morning declaring war on Ukraine, in what he termed a ‘special military operation’

    Five Russian jets were reportedly shot out of the sky over the eastern Donbass region before Moscow boasted of taking out all anti-aircraft defences, giving them control of the skies.

    Ukrainian border guards said they had come under attack by heavy artillery, tanks and troops from Russia and Belarus – as Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko threw his forces into the fight.

    Luhansk, Sumy, Kharkiv and Chernihiv in the east of Ukraine all reported coming under attack, but blasts were also reported in the west – in Zhytomyr and Lviv, close to the border with Poland.

    Extraordinary video footage showed what appeared to be a cruise missile slamming into Ivano-Frankivsk airport, also in the west.

    Meanwhile pro-Russian rebel forces pushed out from the occupied Donbass region, capturing two villages and claiming to have shot two Ukrainian jets out of the skies.

    The port city of Odessa, where Ukraine’s main naval base is located, also came under attack – though reports of an amphibious assault could not be verified.

    The attack has come to Ukraine on all fronts, with bombs and missiles striking targets across the country, ground forces rolling in from Belarus, Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk, and paratroopers dropping on Kharkiv

    Chuhuiv military airfield in Kharkiv outskirts burns

    Chuhuiv military airfield in Kharkiv outskirts burns

    Smoke rises over Chuhuiv military airfield in eastern Ukraine after a Russian airstrike aimed at taking out the air force

    Smoke rises over Chuhuiv military airfield in eastern Ukraine after a Russian airstrike aimed at taking out the air force

    Ukrainian President Zelensky has given his own address – delivered from home – in which he declared martial law and vowed to resist the Russian attack, come what may. ‘Don’t panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will defeat everyone. Because we are Ukraine,’ he said.

    The invasion marks the most concerted attempt to up-end world order since the end of the Cold War, and risks sparking the bloodies conflict in Europe since the end of the Second World War.

    Western leaders lined up to condemn Russia’s actions in the early hours, with security councils convened the world over to mount a response.

    Heavy sanctions are expected to follow, along with more shipments of military equipment – provided they can find a route in.

    Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has imposed martial law and urged his people to stay home and not panic

    Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has imposed martial law and urged his people to stay home and not panic

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