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WATCH: Russia Launches Massive Helicopter Assault In Attempt To Take Ukrainian Airfield
Belarusian Mil Mi-8MTV-5 military helicopters fly over a field during joint exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus as part of an inspection of the Union State's Response Force, at a firing range near a town of Osipovichi outside Minsk on February 17, 2022.

Russia launched a massive helicopter assault mission attempting to take a Ukrainian airport on Thursday morning, several hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched Russia’s full-scale invasion after announcing that a “special military operation” was underway.

Wall Street Journal reporter Yaroslav Trofimov tweeted, “Ukrainian officials say a Russian helicopter airborne landing attempt is under way at the Hostomel military airport just outside Kyiv.”

“Confirmed by Ukrainian authorities. A large air assault operation with Mi-8 helicopters on Antonov International Airport in Hostomel,” Christopher Miller, a BuzzFeed News reporter, tweeted. “Interior Ministry says Russia has seized control. Very dangerous; it’s just 15 minutes west of the capital ring road.”

Other videos posted online showed the same incident unfolding from different angles and included footage of one of the helicopters appearing to get shot down.

Putin told Ukrainian soldiers to give up and go home while threatening the U.S. and NATO that if they intervene “Russia will respond immediately, and you will have consequences that you never have had before in your history.”

The initial wave of Russian attacks against Ukraine targeted military and government facilities, airfields, and installations along the border and large explosions were seen in videos posted on social media. Ukraine said that Belarus, which is aligned with Putin, assisted Russia in attacking Ukraine. A senior Ukrainian official told The Wall Street Journal that hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers died in the initial volley of attacks. That number is likely to quickly rise as Russian ground forces entered Ukraine and Russia has launched attacks against targets in multiple cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, Ivano-Frankivsk, Mariupol, and others. President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that he was imposing martial law “across the entire territory of our state.”

Oil prices skyrocketed to more than $100 per barrel, Dow futures plummeted 800 points, and Bitcoin lost as much as 8.6% of its value following the invasion. A top Russian official responded to relatively weak sanctions from Democrat President Joe Biden against Russia by effectively saying that Americans would feel the repercussions of the sanctions because Russia would raise the cost of gas. “There is no doubt that the sanctions introduced against us will hit global financial and energy markets,” the official said. “The United States will not be left out, with its ordinary citizens feeling the consequences of the price increase in full.”

Leaders from around the world issued statements condemning Putin for launching the attack while Ukraine pleaded for help at the United Nations. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the United Nations General Assembly, “We urge member states to use all available means to protect Ukraine and deter Russia.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the organization will “meet to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions” and that NATO would “do all it takes to protect and defend all Allies.”

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