A group of people from separatist-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine crosses the border into Russia at the check point in Avilo-Uspenka on February 24, 2022 | Photo: AFP
New Delhi: Residents in Kiev appeared to be filling up on gas and trying to exit the city via car and rail on Thursday just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin moved in with tanks over the Belarusian border, the Daily Mail reported.
The reality of war has finally dawned on many Ukrainian residents who were in denial that Putin would actually invade. Many are now rushing for the western border to escape the incoming tanks as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law, the report said.
Explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital and other major cities following Putin's announcement that a military operation had begun.
Photos and video showed Ukrainians driving out of Kiev Thursday morning, as air raid sirens wailed across the capital, Daily Mail reported.
Many were either heading for the exits or lining up in lengthy queues for gasoline, with some stopping at ATMs beforehand, the report said.
Intense lines were also seen at Kiev's Metro station with people attempting to get onto trains to flee the city. Some were just heading into the station to take refuge.
The Russian President announced the action during a televised address early on Thursday morning, saying the move was a response to threats from Ukraine.
He adds that Russia doesn't have a goal to occupy Ukraine. Putin says the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian "regime".
Putin also is warning other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action will lead to "consequences they have never seen".