BREAKING: Putin orders invasion of eastern Ukraine. Explosion heard see video

Russian President Vladimir Putin recognises Luhansk and Donetsk Donbass on February 21, 2022.

Putin announces in a televised speech the start of a military operation against Ukraine and declares that Russia aims to disarm the neighbouring country.

Calls on the Ukrainian military to "lay down its arms."

Explosions are being heard in several Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv and Kharkiv.

:Putin says foreign powers that intervene in the Ukraine conflict will witness consequences they have not seen before