Russian forces launch missile strikes on Ukrainian cities, clashes in Kyiv

The air force command had earlier reported heavy fighting near an airbase in Vasylkiv, southwest of the capital, which it said was under attack by Russian paratroopers.

He said one of his fighters shot down a Russian transport plane. Reuters could not independently verify the claims.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the president’s office, said the situation in Kyiv and its outskirts was under control.

“There are cases of sabotage and reconnaissance groups working in the city, the police and self-defense forces are working effectively against them,” Podolyak said.

The people of Kiev have been ordered by the Ministry of Defense to make Molotov cocktails to repel the invaders.

Some families have hunkered down in shelters and hundreds of thousands have left their homes to find safety, according to a UN aid official.

Ukraine said more than 1,000 Russian soldiers had been killed. Russia has not released casualty figures. Zelenskyy said Thursday evening that 137 soldiers and civilians had been killed and hundreds injured.

PUTIN’S CALL

After weeks of warnings from Western leaders, Putin on Thursday unleashed a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine from the north, east and south, in an attack that threatened to upend the European military order. post-cold war.

“I once again appeal to the military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: do not allow neo-Nazis and (Ukrainian radical nationalists) to use your children, wives and elders as human shields,” Putin told a meeting televised with Russian security. Council Friday. “Take the power in your hands.”

Putin cited the need to “denazify” Ukrainian leaders as one of his main reasons for the invasion, accusing him of genocide against Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine. Kiev and its Western allies dismiss the accusations as baseless propaganda.

Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for independence when the Soviet Union fell, and Kiev hopes to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) – aspirations that infuriate Moscow.

Putin says Ukraine, a democratic nation of 44 million people, is an illegitimate state carved out of Russia, a vision Ukrainians see as aimed at erasing their more than a thousand-year history.

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