Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey calls on Ankara for help, asking it to close the Bosphorus straits to Russian ships and its airspace to Russian planes
Missile strikes and explosions have been reported in several parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv and Kharkiv (File pic/AFP)
https://www.middleeasteye.net/-By MEE and agencies
Several people are reported to have been killed after Russia launched what President Vladimir Putin has called a “special military operation” against Ukraine.
In a televised address on Thursday, Putin said that the operation was aimed at the “demilitarisation and denazification” of Ukraine.
Missile strikes and explosions have been reported in several parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv and Kharkiv.
Ukrainian official Anton Herashchenk said at least seven people had been killed in air strikes.
Herashchenk said six people were killed and seven injured in an attack on a military base outside the Black Sea port of Odessa and one person had died in shelling in Mariupol.
Appeal to Turkey
In televised remarks, Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey Vasly Bodnar called on Ankara for help, asking it to close the Bosphorus straits to Russian ships.
“We call on our strategic partner Turkey to support us in these difficult times,” said Bodnar said.
“We call on Turkey to close its air space to Russian planes, and to close the Dardanelles and Bosporus to Russian ships.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister accused Russia of starting a full-scale war and implored the UN to “do everything possible” to stop it.
Turkey, an ally of both sides, said it would convene a national security council meeting over the matter.
The Turkish foreign ministry said it would provide necessary support and guidance to citizens wishing to leave Ukraine.
The ministry also advised Turkish citizens to stay at home or in a safe place and avoid travelling.
Earlier on Thursday, flag carrier Turkish Airlines said it cancelled all flights to Ukraine on 24 February because of the closure of Ukrainian air space.