Russian troops bore down on Kyiv and explosions and gunfire sounded across the metropolis on the second day of Russia’s assault on Ukraine, as President Vladimir Putin demanded Ukrainian troops lay down their arms.
The invasion targeted on the Ukrainian capital on Friday andrResidents heard explosions beginning earlier than daybreak and gunfire was reported in a number of areas.
5 explosions struck close to a serious energy plant on Kyiv’s japanese outskirts, mentioned Mayor Vitali Klitschko. There was no info on what brought on them and no electrical outages have been instantly reported.
“Photographs and explosions are ringing out in some neighbourhoods. Saboteurs have already entered Kyiv,” mentioned the mayor of town of three million. “The enemy desires to place the capital on its knees and destroy us.”
Moscow mentioned it had captured the Hostomel airfield northwest of the capital – a possible staging put up for an assault on Kyiv that has been fought over since Russian paratroopers landed there within the first hours of the struggle. This might not be confirmed and the Ukrainian authorities reported heavy combating there.
Intense gunfire broke out on a bridge throughout the Dnieper River dividing japanese and western Kyiv, whereas one other key bridge to the capital was blown away. Some residents sheltered in underground metro stations.
Home windows have been blasted out of a 10-storey condominium block close to the primary airport. A two-metre crater confirmed the place a shell had struck earlier than daybreak.
“How can we be dwelling by means of this in our time? Putin ought to burn in hell alongside together with his entire household,” mentioned Oxana Gulenko, sweeping damaged glass from her room.
Владимир Зеленский опубликовал видео из Киева.
«Мы тут. Мы в Киеве. Мы защищаем Украину», – подписал он эти кадры. pic.twitter.com/r72ezM5DAI
— РБК (@ru_rbc) February 25, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted that there had been heavy combating with individuals killed on the entrance to the japanese cities of Chernihiv and Melitopol, in addition to at Hostomel.
Witnesses mentioned loud explosions and gunfire may be heard close to the airport in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second metropolis, near Russia’s border, and air raid sirens sounded over Lviv within the west. Authorities reported heavy combating within the japanese metropolis of Sumy.
Putin has mentioned he doesn’t plan a navy occupation. The Russian chief claims he desires to dimilitarise Ukraine and urged Ukrainian troopers to mutiny with the intention to forestall wider bloodshed.
“Take energy into your personal fingers, will probably be simpler for us to succeed in settlement,” Putin mentioned at a televised assembly with Russia’s Safety Council on Friday.
United States officers imagine Russia’s preliminary goal is to “decapitate” Zelenskyy’s authorities. Zelenskyy mentioned he knew he was “the primary goal” however would keep in Kyiv.
Ukrainian officers reported a minimum of 137 deaths on their facet and claimed a whole bunch on the Russian one. Russian authorities launched no casualty figures, and it was not attainable to confirm the tolls.
The United Nations mentioned a minimum of 25 civilians had been killed and 102 wounded, figures that have been prone to be a “vital under-estimate”.
UN companies mentioned as many as 5 million individuals may attempt to flee overseas and that greater than 50,000 refugees had already crossed into neighbouring international locations. Ukraine has banned males of combating age from leaving, and at borders with Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, these crossing have been largely girls and kids.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg mentioned the US-led navy alliance was bolstering its defences with troops and air energy on its japanese flank in response to Russia’s actions.
He mentioned allies had activated defence plans and “because of this … are deploying components of the NATO Response Drive on land, at sea and within the air”. This included hundreds extra troops and over 100 fighter jets being placed on excessive alert in 30 places, Stoltenberg added.
Envoys of the EU’s 27 member states agreed to freeze any property within the EU belonging to Putin and his overseas minister Sergey Lavrov, including to a slew of sanctions backed by the leaders at an emergency summit on Thursday evening.
Quite a few Western international locations have introduced new sanctions on Russia, together with blacklisting its banks and banning know-how imports.
However they’ve thus far stopped wanting forcing it out of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Monetary Telecommunication (SWIFT) system for worldwide financial institution funds, drawing criticism from Kyiv which says there isn’t a cause to carry again.
Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane talking from Berlin, Germany mentioned there was “some unease” in a number of European international locations about banning Moscow from SWIFT.
“In slicing off Russian entry to SWIFT, it would trigger such a damaging impact on the economies in Germany, Italy and elsewhere in Europe that it’s a step they aren’t actually ready proper now to think about,” Kane added.
Russia is without doubt one of the world’s largest power producers and Europe’s largest gasoline provider, and each it and Ukraine are among the many high exporters of grain. Battle and sanctions will disrupt economies world wide.
Oil and grain costs have soared. Share markets world wide, lots of which plunged on Thursday at information of the outbreak of struggle, have been primarily rebounding on Friday.
An adviser to Zelenskyy mentioned Ukraine was ready for talks with Russia, together with on staying impartial, certainly one of Moscow’s pre-war calls for, however the prospects for dialogue appeared dim. The Kremlin mentioned it had supplied talks within the Belarusian capital Minsk, however that Ukraine had proposed Warsaw as an alternative and there was now a “pause” in contacts.