Russian troops enter Kyiv, Ukraine under siege

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said 137 Ukrainians had so far been killed and 316 injured in the Russian onslaught.

Kyiv, Feb 25 (UNI) Russian troops donning the uniform of Ukraine military entered Kyiv on Friday as the Russian military’s advance continued on multiple fronts, leaving at least 137 people dead and the entire country under siege. Even as Russia assured the world that there will be no occupation of Ukraine and that Ukrainian people will decide their country’s fate, media reports spoke of a full-scale invasion of the European nation as Russian forces pushed in from numerous directions. Several Ukrainian cities and villages were shelled and attacked with missiles, helicopters, tanks and ships, while ground forces invaded the country, the reported. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said 137 Ukrainians had so far been killed and 316 injured in the Russian onslaught. Describing one of the brashest moment Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said, the Russian military seized two vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russian soldiers quickly changed into Ukrainian uniform and were moving into the center of Kyiv followed by Russian military trucks, Russian envoy to Japan, Mikhail Yurievich Galuzin, told the media in Tokyo: “President Vladimir Putin’s action was to end the illegal occupation of Kyiv, where power was grabbed after a coup in 2014. And Ukraine is nothing more than a bargaining chip for the West and the US.” Sirens were activated in central Kyiv after several explosions were reported in the vicinity of the capital around 7 am (local time) on Friday. Sirens were also activated in the western city of Lviv. A missile strike hit the airport in Rivne city but caused no serious damage, according to its Mayor. Additional multiple rumbling sounds heard not far from the center of Kyiv. Some military analysts felt that Russia plans to intensify attacks along the Ukraine border, seize one of Kyiv’s airports while saboteurs disconnect the city from electricity and communications. Arson and looting could follow, creating more panic. The plan would also entail a cyber attack on government websites and create “uncontrolled columns of refugees” from Kyiv to block highways and hinder movement of Ukrainian troops. Then, Russian forces would try to capture and hold government buildings and seize the leadership of the state to force them to sign a peace agreement on Russian terms. The end result would be a partition of Ukraine, like East and West Germany. The Biden administration has warned that Russian forces are 32 km from Kyiv and that Russian mechanized forces have entered Ukraine through Belarus. Two residential buildings in Kyiv were on fire, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. The Russian military had established road checkpoints on the Kyiv-Sumy highway and checking documents. The city of Konotop in Sumy Oblast has been encircled by Russian forces, according to the head of the Sumy administration. Multiple cities in Sumy were under siege. Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications said that Ukrainian forces were conducting an organized defense in the south and had engaged in defensive battles east of Kherson. Ukraine’s mechanized forces also defeated Russians in Rykovo district. Defensive engagements were being conducted in Volchansk, Bily Kolodets and Prykolotno. The Ukraine Navy was engaged in the south-western part of the Black Sea, defending Ukraine’s important ports, including Odesa and Chornomorsk. According to the Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar who spoke around midnight, battles were raging in the districts of Pobeda and Glukhiv. In the south, battles were continuing in Kherson oblast, with mechanized units of the Ukrainian armed forces securing a bridge across the Dnipro river. Some Russian forces abandoned their armoured transport vehicles and scattered near the city of Okhtyrka in Sumy oblast, according to Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the Minister of Interior. Adviser to the Interior Minister, Anton Herashchenko Herashchenko, reported just before midnight 13 Ukrainian border guards were killed in the Russian bombardment of Zmiinyi Island. On Thursday, the Ukrainian Army recaptured the Antonov International Airport in Hostomel, less than 10 km from Kyiv, the military reported. According to Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications, Ukraine has analyzed the plans of the Russian invaders, which is to block Kyiv and create a land corridor between the Crimean peninsula and the self-declared territory of Transnistria. Russia also seeks to deal a blow to critical civilian infrastructure with airstrikes and missile attacks. Meanwhile, Zmiinyi Island’s infrastructure was completely destroyed by airstrikes and ship bombardments, causing Ukrainian forces to lose contact with the defenders, Territorial Defense forces in Sumy oblast turned back the tide of Russian forces, Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar announced on Facebook.