Belarus Joins Russia in Invading Ukraine as Video Shows Tanks Cross Border

Footage has shown Russian military vehicles and troops entering Ukraine from several border points including Belarus as Moscow-led forces launched a major military assault on Ukraine, with reports of missile strikes and explosions in major cities.

The Ukrainian state border service (DPSU) said that the country's frontier "was attacked by Russian troops supported by Belarus," according to CNN.

The network showed livestream video from the Belarus border crossing shot around 6:48 a.m local time Thursday of a column of troops and military vehicles crossing between Senkivka, Ukraine, and Veselovka, Belarus.

Minsk and Moscow have close military ties, and Russian troops have been in Belarus for extensive military drills.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has drawn closer to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Ukraine crisis, will hold a meeting with his military chiefs on Thursday.

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called for sanctions against Lukashenko and the Belarus regime, tweeting they were "accomplices of Russia's brutal assault on Ukraine."

The DPSU said attacks are targeting border units, border patrols and checkpoints using artillery, heavy equipment and small arms in Luhansk, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Zhytomyr regions by the eastern and northern borders of Ukraine.

Video released by the border service also showed Russian military vehicles entering Ukraine through Crimea, although it was unclear which border crossing the vehicles coming from—Chongar in the east or Kalanchak in the west.

The Russian offensives were preceded by artillery fire, the BBC reported.

Ukrainian news outlets reported that Ukrainian military units were fired upon during Russian airstrikes in Kamianka-Buzka and Novyi Kalyniv area in the Lviv region in the west of the country.

Missile strikes and explosions have also been reported in other parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv and Kharkiv.

Ukraine's Interior Ministry said that an air bomb attack on a military unit in Odessa had killed at least six and wounded at least seven, with 17 more unaccounted for.

The attacks follow the announcement on television by Putin in which he said: "I have made the decision of a military operation."

He said he would seek the "demilitarization and denazification" of Ukraine and called upon the Ukrainian army to lay down weapons. State news agency Tass reported "Moscow's plans to not include an occupation of Ukraine."

Ukraine's Defense Ministry described the actions by Russia as "an unjustified deceitful and cynical invasion," as it warned citizens to stay at home.

"There are strikes on military and other important defense facilities, border units are under attack, the situation in the Donbas has degraded," it said in a statement.

Explosion near Kharkiv, Ukraine
Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv on February 24, 2022. It follows the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin of a military operation in Ukraine with explosions heard soon after across the country. Aris Messinis/Getty