A dispatch from the front line as Ukraine comes under attack

In The News podcast: Dan McLaughlin reports from east Ukraine amid Russian invasion

In the early hours of Thursday, at 6am Moscow time, Russian president Vladimir Putin made a short address to the people of his country. He announced he was launching a "military operation" in Ukraine to defend the people suffering "persecution and genocide" under the Kyiv government – the latter claim having been dismissed as absurd by the West.

Anyone who tries to interfere with this operation will face “such consequences as you have never before experienced in your history”, said the Russian president.

Within minutes of this announcement, Russian forces had invaded Ukraine, with explosions reported across the country.

The world awoke on Thursday to a frightening new order and era of global politics. Some have warned the situation could escalate to become the biggest war in Europe since 1945.

Vladimir Putin has said he plans to "de-Nazify Ukraine as he sees it", Dan McLaughlin, who is currently based in eastern Ukraine, told the In The News podcast. "That's suggesting there's going to be some kind of purge if Russia takes over here – purge of the leadership, arrests, and we just don't know what that will bring.

“On the other hand you’ve got Ukrainians saying we’ve never been more united, we’ve never been more determined to resist Russia and we will never accept the rule from Moscow.

“Those things in combination make for what could be a very long, drawn-out battle.”

In The News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope.

Listen to the podcast here:

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