Tears, explosions and mass evacuations: The reality for Ukrainians as Russia attacks.

Right now, all eyes are on Russia and Ukraine.

In a televised address on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a "military operation in eastern Ukraine" following months of increased tensions. 

Since then, the world has watched as Russia has launched a wide-ranging attack by air, water and land on Ukraine. An attack which is the biggest on a European country since World War Two.

We've seen world leaders respond with sanctions and speeches, while thousands around the world, including Russians, have taken to the streets to show their support for Ukraine and condemn Putin's military aggression.  

But what has the last 24 hours been like for residents in Ukraine? 

As the military operation continues to unfold, here's what we know about life on the ground in Ukraine right now.

Curfews and crowded metro stations.

As Russian forces continue to invade Ukraine, thousands have taken to hiding in crowded metro stations, serving as bomb shelters.

Footage shared on social media shows families, children and their pets huddled up in Kharkiv and Kyiv metro stations with bags, blankets and water bottles as they shelter from Russia's airstrike. 

The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, confirmed "metro stations will be available as shelters 24/7". 

He also announced a curfew in Ukraine's capital city, which will be in place from 10pm to 7am local time. 

"Public transport will not work during curfew," he wrote in a statement


"We ask all Kyivites to return home on time. If you need to move around the city during the curfew, in particular, as employees of critical infrastructure companies, you must have identification documents."


Families flee their homes and say goodbye to loved ones.

100,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes and are uprooted in the country, the UN refugee agency says.

Groups of people have fled into Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Poland, which is home to the region's largest Ukrainian community.

On Thursday, dozens arrived at the normally quiet Medyka crossing, some carrying luggage and accompanied by children.

Meanwhile, footage on social media shows roads jammed with traffic as residents attempt to flee Kyiv. 

Slovak customs officials said passenger cars were waiting up to eight hours at the busiest of Slovakia's three road crossings with Ukraine.


An emotional video circulating online shows a Ukrainian father tearing up as he says goodbye to his daughter before his family appear to set off for a safe zone. 

The father, who hugs his daughter goodbye before she gets on a bus, is reportedly staying behind to help fight for his country.  


Men aged 18 to 60 reportedly banned from leaving the country. 

While thousands flee to safety, there are reports Ukraine's Interior Ministry and State Border Guard Service has banned men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country under the country's newly instated martial law.

The law was announced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday in response to Russia's military operation. 

BREAKING: Ukraine's interior ministry bans men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country

— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) February 24, 2022

State Border Guard Service of #Ukraine says that in connection with the implementation of martial law in the country, Ukrainian male aged 18 to 60 are banned from leaving the country

— Michael A. Horowitz (@michaelh992) February 24, 2022

Explosions and air raid sirens heard as Ukraine's death toll rises. 

On Thursday morning (local time), air raid alarms could he heard ringing out in the city of Kyiv.


That day (around Friday morning AEDT), Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine which saw cities and bases hit with airstrikes or shelling.

The Ukrainian presidential office said Russian forces had captured the Chernobyl former nuclear power plant, north of Kyiv. 

There was also fighting at Hostomel airport, just outside Kyiv, where Russian paratroopers landed. A Ukrainian official later said the airfield had been recaptured, while a senior US defence official said Russian forces were advancing closer to Kyiv.

At this stage, Ukraine's Minister of Healthcare, Viktor Lyashko, said 57 people have died and 169 people have been injured – including both combat and non-combat injuries.


Authorities in the southwesterly Odessa region said 18 people had been killed in a missile attack and at least six people were killed in Brovary, a town near Kyiv.


- With AAP. 

Feature Image: Twitter@AvivaKlompas/@MKomnos/Getty.