Ukrainian forces are waging a desperate battle to repel a full-scale Russian invasion of capital Kyiv.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Russian reconnaissance troops have entered Obolon, a residential area just north of the parliament and the city centre.
Multiple explosions were reported in Kyiv Friday morning as Russia targeted the city with missile attacks.
News channels aired videos of armored vehicles advancing through northern district of Kyiv.
People took shelter in bunkers and underground railway stations to escape air raids.
Ukraine’s army is waging a fierce battle trying to thwart Russian forces from seizing Kiev. They blew up a bridge over the Teteriv River at Ivankiv to block an advance of Russian troops towards the capital.
Ukraine’s military chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said Friday that the country’s army was successfully resisting Russian forces advancing from the north.
In an address to the nation, Ukrainian President Zelensky appealed to Russia for truce. He has vowed to continue fighting, and ordered conscripts and reservists to take arms.
According to him, 137 Ukrainians, including soldiers and civilians, died in Russian assault.
UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Friday that Russia lost the lives of more than 450 military personnel.
On Thursday, Russian forces seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,
A UN Security Council resolution condemning Russia for the attack, and urging their force withdrawal from Ukraine, will be put to vote Friday.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to announce “drastic and strong” sanctions against Russia.
Announcing a tough set of sanctions on Russia Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden made his country’s stand clear that American forces will not fight in Ukraine. “Our forces are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia in Ukraine. Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in East.”
The president has also authorized the deployment of more U.S. troops from the United States to Europe, to reassure NATO allies of America’s commitment to their collective defense.
An extraordinary virtual summit of NATO leaders is scheduled to be held at 9 AM ET Friday to discuss the security situation in and around Ukraine.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview that he was “convinced” that Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to overthrow Ukraine’s government.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remains a “prime target for Russian aggression,” according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
In a video statement issued late Thursday, Zelensky said, “According to our information, the enemy marked me as target No. 1, my family as target No. 2. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state. We have information that enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv.”
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