Russia Ukraine updates: Attack on Kyiv has begun, citizens taking up weapons, significant city captured
Saturday - 26/02/2022 05:09
The Russian defence ministry has claimed it has overtaken a Ukrainian city that has a population of more than 150,000 people.
Russian troops have taken their first “significant” city after their invasion of Ukraine began on Thursday, reported Reuters.
The city of Melitopol, which has an estimated population of 150,000, has been captured, claimed Russia’s defence ministry.
The mid size city is located in the south of Ukraine and is near the key port of Mariupol.
However, Ukrainian officials have not been reached for comment on the situation.
Russia also claimed to have carried out overnight strikes on military targets in Ukraine using air and ship-based missiles.
‘198 dead, including 3 children’
Ukraine’s health minister Viktor Liashko has given an update on the country’s death toll, stating 198 dead Ukrainians have died “at the hands of the gunpowder” in the three days since the battle began – including 3 children. He also said data shows 1115 have been injured, 33 of which were children.
Liashko made the heartbreaking announcement in a lengthy Facebook post shared Saturday.
On Friday, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, had said that at least 137 people had been killed and 316 wounded, the NY Times reports.
Київ — наше чудове, мирне місто — пережив ще одну ніч під нападами російських наземних сил та ракет. Одна з них вдарила по житловому будинку в Києві. Я вимагаю від світу повністю ізолювати РФ. Виганяйте послів. Нафтове ембарго. Знищте економіку РФ. Зупиніть воєнних злочинців РФ! pic.twitter.com/UdKnSVCVkT
During the battle on Friday night, a missile struck the middle of a high rise residential building, according to Kyiv’s municipality government, but the extent of casualties are currently unknown.
With Russian troops closing in on the city, the window to escape is closing.
Several special evacuation trains were put on Friday night by the Ukrainian Railway Company, with women, children and those with limited mobility given priority on the services, reported CNN.
Passengers on the services were warned not to panic if the lights went out on the service.
“The less the train looks like a garland, the safer the journey,” the company said.
The United Nations has revealed more than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have left the country in less than 48 hours, with the majority entering Poland and Moldova.
Ukraine won’t put down weapons
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier posted to Twitter to declare that his country won’t put down their weapons.
“I am here. We are not putting down arms. We will be defending our country, because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of this,” he said.
“That is it. That’s all I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine.”
There have been reports both countries have tried to propose a location for negotiations, but a senior adviser to the president said Ukraine would be in the driver’s seat.
“I don’t think that after what is happening now, Ukraine has weak positions,” said the adviser Myhailo Podoliak.
“Even if the negotiation process starts – and it is going to start – Ukraine will set conditions.”
A new day on the diplomatic frontline began with a conversation with @EmmanuelMacron. Weapons and equipment from our partners are on the way to Ukraine. The anti-war coalition is working!
On Friday, Rudik told CNN she was in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv.
“It is my duty to be here. I am armed and my crew is armed,” she said.
A Ukrainian television channel also broadcast instructions on how to make Molotov cocktails, according to CNN, with a person demonstrating the steps to create the explosive, including a diagram to show how to close off a glass bottle with a piece of cloth.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has also tweeted that citizens should “make Molotov cocktails and take down the occupier”.
It’s been reported that 18,000 weapons have been given to reservists in the Kyiv region too.