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IANS

Metadata of the video in which Russian President Vladimir Putin announces a military operation in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region, shows that it was recorded on Monday evening, but only broadcast on Thursday morning, the Daily Mail said in a report.

At the time, some Russian officials were denying any intention to invade.

The Russian armed forces are not inflicting any missile, air or artillery strikes on the cities of Ukraine, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow told RIA Novosti.

Military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields and aviation of the Ukrainian army were being disabled by high-precision weapons, they said.

Nothing threatens the civilian population of Ukraine, they claimed.

All flights cancelled at Russian airports in Krasnodar, Sochi, and Anapa, close to the Black Sea, Daily Mail reported.

Rostov also reported cancelled flights.

Within minutes of Putin's public address, explosions could be heard in the capital city of Kiev as well as the city of Kramatorsk in central Ukraine, and Odessa in the south.

Across Ukraine, cruise and ballistic missiles were destroying military infrastructure and strategically important facilities, according to unofficial Russian sources, the report said.

Mariupol, on the Black Sea 50 miles from the Russian border, appeared to be under fierce attack.

Taking this strategic location would give the Donbas separatist Republics access to the sea.

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