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Missiles hit Kyiv awaiting Russian assault; Ukrainian chief pleads for assist By Reuters


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© Reuters. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a information briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout by way of REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

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By Natalia Zinets and Maria Tsvetkova

KYIV (Reuters) -Missiles pounded the Ukrainian capital on Friday as Russian forces pressed their advance and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pleaded with the worldwide neighborhood to do extra, saying sanctions introduced to date weren’t sufficient.

Air raid sirens wailed over town of three million folks, the place some had been sheltering in underground metro stations, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion that has shocked the world.

Ukrainian officers stated a Russian plane had been shot down and crashed right into a constructing in Kyiv in a single day, setting it ablaze and injuring eight folks.

A senior Ukrainian official stated Russian forces would enter areas simply outdoors the capital afterward Friday and that Ukrainian troops had been defending positions on 4 fronts regardless of being outnumbered.

Home windows had been blasted out of a 10-storey condominium block close to Kyiv’s predominant airport, the place a two-metre crater full of rubble confirmed the place a shell had struck earlier than daybreak. A policeman stated folks had been injured there however not killed.

“How we will stay by means of it in our time? What ought to we expect. Putin needs to be burnt in hell alongside together with his entire household,” stated Oxana Gulenko, cleansing damaged glass from her room. A neighbour, Soviet military veteran Anatoliy Marchenko, 57, couldn’t discover his cat that had run away throughout the shelling.

“I do know folks there, they’re my mates,” he stated of Russia. “What do they want from me? A conflict has come to my home and that’s it.”

Witnesses stated loud explosions could possibly be heard in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest metropolis, near Russia’s border, and air raid sirens sounded over Lviv within the west. Authorities reported heavy preventing within the japanese metropolis of Sumy.

‘NUMBER ONE TARGET’

Tens of hundreds of individuals have fled as explosions and gunfire rocked main cities. Dozens have been reported killed. Russian troops seized the Chernobyl former nuclear energy plant north of Kyiv as they superior on town from Belarus.

Ukraine’s nuclear company stated it was recording elevated radiation ranges from the defunct energy plant.

Zelenskiy stated he understood Russian troops had been coming for him however vowed to remain in Kyiv.

“(The) enemy has marked me down because the primary goal,” Zelenskiy stated in a video message. “My household is the quantity two goal. They need to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the pinnacle of state.”

Russia launched its invasion by land, air and sea on Thursday following a declaration of conflict by Putin, within the largest assault on a European state since World Struggle Two.

Putin says Ukraine is an illegitimate state carved out of Russia, a view Ukrainians see as an try and erase their greater than thousand-year historical past.

The Russian chief’s full goals stay obscure. He says he doesn’t plan a army occupation, solely to disarm Ukraine and take away its leaders. However it’s not clear how a pro-Russian chief could possibly be put in with out holding a lot of the nation. Russia has floated no identify of such a determine and none has come ahead.

After Moscow denied for months it was planning an invasion, information that Putin had ordered one got here as a shock to Russians accustomed to viewing their ruler of twenty-two years as a cautious strategist. Many Russians have family and friends in Ukraine.

Russia has cracked down on dissent up to now 12 months, and Putin’s predominant political foes have been jailed or fled. State media have relentlessly characterised Ukraine as a menace. However nonetheless, hundreds of Russians took to the streets to protest in opposition to the conflict, and a whole lot had been swiftly arrested.

One pop star posted a video on Instagram opposing the conflict, and the pinnacle of a Moscow state theatre give up, saying she wouldn’t take her wage from a assassin.

‘HORRIFIC’

Britain stated Moscow’s purpose was to beat all of Ukraine, and its army had failed to fulfill its predominant aims on the primary day as a result of it didn’t anticipate Ukrainians would resist.

“Opposite to nice Russian claims – and certainly President Putin’s kind of imaginative and prescient that by some means the Ukrainians could be liberated and could be flocking to his trigger – he is bought that utterly incorrect, and the Russian military has didn’t ship, on day one, its predominant goal,” Defence Secretary Ben Wallace advised Sky.

Ukrainians had been circulating an unverified recording on Friday of a Russian warship ordering a Ukrainian Black Sea outpost to give up. The Ukrainians reply: “Russian warship, go fuck your self.” Zelenskiy stated the 13 guards had been killed by a Russian strike and would obtain posthumous honours.

“Horrific Russian rocket strikes on Kyiv,” International Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter (NYSE:). “Final time our capital skilled something like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany.”

A democratic nation of 44 million folks, Ukraine voted for independence on the fall of the Soviet Union and has lately stepped up efforts to hitch the NATO army alliance and the European Union, aspirations that infuriate Moscow.

Western nations unveiled monetary sanctions on Moscow billed as far stronger than earlier measures, together with blacklisting its banks and banning expertise imports. Nevertheless, they stopped wanting forcing Russia out of the SWIFT system for worldwide financial institution funds, drawing robust phrases from Kyiv which says probably the most critical steps needs to be taken now.

The U.N. Safety Council will vote on Friday on a draft decision that may condemn the invasion and require Moscow’s rapid withdrawal, although Moscow is definite to veto it. China, which signed a friendship treaty with Russia three weeks in the past, has refused to explain Moscow’s actions as an invasion.

Russia is likely one of the world’s largest vitality producers, and each it and Ukraine are among the many high exporters of grain. Struggle and sanctions will disrupt economies https://graphics.reuters.com/RUSSIA-UKRAINE/zgpomzbjmpd/graphic.jpg all over the world.

Oil and grain costs have soared. Share markets all over the world, lots of which plunged on Thursday at information of the outbreak of conflict, had been primarily rebounding on Friday.

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