In view of the latest situation, Russia has closed its airspace to civilian aircraft starting from Thursday on its western borders with Ukraine and Belarus, the Russian aviation authorities announced.
The announcement came shortly after President Vladimir Putin authorised a "special military operation" in the conflict-hit Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, reports Xinhua news agency.
Meanwhile, a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) posted on the website of the US Federal Aviation Administration Civil said that aviation flights in the Ukrainian airspace are limited in view of potential threats.
Flights to Kiev, Dnepr, Lvov and Odessa airports "are restricted due to potential hazard for civil aviation". the notice says.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian Armed Forces are destroying "military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields, aviation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces" with high-precision weapons, not targeting Ukrainian cities.