Source TASS

MOSCOW, Russia--Since the start of the special operation, Russian armed forces have disabled 83 facilities of Ukraine’s ground military infrastructure, destroyed four planes and four drones, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov has told reporters.

"Overall, as a result of strikes by the Russian armed forces, 83 ground-based objects of Ukrainian military infrastructure have been knocked out of action. Since the start of the military operation, two Su-27 and two Su-24 planes, one helicopter and four Bayraktar TB-2 drones of the Ukrainian armed forces have been shot down," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.

When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.