As it happened
Issued on: 24/02/2022 – 23:50Modified: 26/02/2022 – 00:21
People sleep in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. AP – Emilio Morenatti
Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, put the Ukrainian capital on a “defensive phase” Friday as Russian forces pressed on with a full-scale invasion. The attack on Kyiv is part of what Western officials suspect is a brazen attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to dismantle the Ukrainian government and replace it with his own regime. Follow our liveblog for all the latest developments. Follow the day’s events as they unfolded on our liveblog.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko warned of a “difficult night” for residents as sirens and explosions sounded across the Ukrainian capital. As Russian troops closed in on the capital, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky released a defiant video saying he is in Kyiv and is not about to leave. Moscow has made an offer for talks with Kyiv. A spokesman for Zelensky’s office said Russia and Ukraine are discussing a time and place for talks. The EU, the US and the UK froze foreign-held assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russia, as expected, vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Friday condemning its invasion of Ukraine and demanding it immediately withdraw its troops. Eleven of the council’s 15 members voted for the motion; China, India and the UAE abstained. Moscow said it captured the Hostomel airfield near Kyiv. Ukraine denied the claim but said there is heavy fighting near the strategic site. Zelensky said 137 Ukrainians, both military and civilian, were killed and 316 wounded in the first day of fighting Thursday. Ukraine’s defence ministry said more than 1,000 Russian troops were killed. The toll could not be confirmed. The EU, the US and the UK froze foreign-held assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Council of Europe, which has 47 members, has suspended Russia. Russia has been barred from the Eurovision contest and has been stripped of hosting rights for the Champions League final, which moves from St Petersburg to Paris. More than 50,000 Ukrainians have fled, mostly to Poland and Moldova, according to the UN. The Russian army on Thursday claimed to have destroyed 74 military facilities, including 11 airfields in Ukraine, while a Ukrainian official said Russian forces had captured the Chernobyl former nuclear power plant, just 90 km north of Kyiv. Zelensky has promised to resist the invasion, saying a “new iron curtain” now separates Russia from the rest of the world.For all updates, follow the liveblog below. If the liveblog does not appear, please refresh the page.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP and AP)