At least 40 killed, including civilians, amid Russian airstrikes in Ukraine

"As far as I know, at the moment there are a few civilian deaths — up to ten," Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said.

Smoke billows over Kyiv after a reported strike on a military facility. (Alpha News via Ruptly)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has already left at least 40 Russian soldiers and “a few” Ukrainian civilians dead as of Thursday, multiple sources reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine early Thursday as air strike sirens rang in Kyiv and Russian missiles reportedly struck multiple cities across the country.

Anton Gerashchenko, a top adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on Facebook that the Russian attacks targeted military command facilities, depots and air bases, according to a translation by the AP.

“As far as I know, at the moment there are a few civilian deaths — up to ten,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said, CNN reported.

The translation also conveyed that Ukrainian troops had returned fire against a Russian “artillery barrage” backed by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also said Thursday that Russia was attempting to seize control of Chernobyl, the site of a 1986 nuclear disaster.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, a NATO state, urged the country to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to Russian warships, according to The New York Times, following reports that the Russians bolstered their fleet in the Black Sea, which all three countries border.