Ukraine Capital Kyiv Girds for Russian Assault

As fighting erupted on the outskirts of Kyiv on Friday, Russian missiles pounded the city, families sought refuge in shelters, and authorities warned residents to prepare Molotov cocktails to defend Ukraine’s capital.

Moscow announced that it had taken control of the Hostomel airfield northwest of Kiev, a key staging point for an assault on Kyiv that has been fought over since Russian paratroopers landed there in the early hours of the war. Although this could not be verified, Ukrainian authorities reported heavy fighting in the area.

“Some neighborhoods are hearing gunshots and explosions. Saboteurs have already made their way into Kyiv “Vitali Klitchko, the city’s mayor, is a former world heavyweight boxing champion. “The enemy wants to bring down the capital and destroy us.”

Air raid sirens wailed once more over the city of 3 million people, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine from the north, east, and south. Some residents sought refuge in metro stations below ground. There had been heavy fighting, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, with people killed at the entrances to the eastern cities of Chernihiv and Melitopol, as well as at Hostomel.

A 10-story apartment building near Kyiv’s main airport had its windows blown out. Before dawn, a shell struck, leaving a two-meter crater. Witnesses reported hearing loud explosions in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, which is close to Russia’s border, and hearing air raid sirens over Lviv in the west. Heavy fighting was reported in the eastern city of Sumy, according to authorities.

Russian armored forces had opened up a new route of advance towards the capital after failing to capture Chernihiv, according to a British defence ministry intelligence update, and most troops remained more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Kyiv city center.

According to UN organizations, up to 5 million people may attempt to emigrate to another country. Kyiv has made it illegal for fighting-age men to leave the country, and those crossing the borders with Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia were primarily women and children.

Women were seen crying as they said their goodbyes to male loved ones and crossed into Romania, Reuters journalists witnessed. Ukraine, a democratic nation of 44 million people, voted for independence after the Soviet Union fell apart and aspires to join NATO and the EU, objectives that enrage Moscow.

New sanctions on Russia have been declared by Western countries, including the blacklisting of Russian banks and the prohibition of technology imports. They did not, however, force Russia out of the SWIFT system for international bank payments, which drew condemnation from Kyiv, which believes that the most significant steps should be taken now. SWIFT is used by Germany and others to pay for Russian gas.

Russia is one of the world’s largest energy producers, and it, along with Ukraine, is a major grain exporter. Sanctions and war will wreak havoc on economies all around the world. Oil and grain prices have risen dramatically. Global stock markets, which had plummeted on Thursday following news of the commencement of war, were mostly recovered on Friday.

Putin calls on Ukrainian military to end resistance

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the Ukrainian military to abandon its struggle and turn on their rulers. Putin said at Friday’s Security Council meeting that the majority of Ukrainian military troops are hesitant to engage Russian forces. According to him, the resistance formations are largely volunteer battalions comprised of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists. He did not, however, provide any evidence to back up his accusations.

Russia’s defense ministry announced on Friday that its forces had taken control of the crucial Hostomel airport, located just 7 kilometers (4 miles) northwest of Kyiv, and had landed paratroopers there. The operation also resulted in the deaths of over 200 people from Ukraine’s special forces. According to the ministry, Russian military troops have blocked access to Kyiv from the west, while separatist militants in east Ukraine have attacked Ukrainian army positions with Russian military support. The Russian military has stated that it will not attack Kyiv’s residential districts.

Tens of thousands flee their homes

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, 100,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes, with thousands more fleeing into neighboring nations since Russia attacked on Ukraine.

As Russia pushes its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of Kyiv, residential areas suffer significant damage.               

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