Ukrainian and Russian forces fight over capital Kyiv
Russian leader Vladimir Putin unleashed a full-scale invasion on Thursday
KYIV (Web Desk) - Ukrainian soldiers repulsed a Russian attack in the capital, the military said early Saturday, only hours after President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Moscow would attempt to take Kyiv before dawn.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin unleashed a full-scale invasion on Thursday that has killed dozens of people, forced more than 50,000 to flee Ukraine in just 48 hours and sparked fears of a new Cold War in Europe.
Russian rocket hits a high-rise apartment building in Kyiv injuring civilians
A rescue worker says at least six civilians were injured by a rocket that hit a high-rise apartment building on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.
Petro Prokopov, a firefighter who was taking part in rescue efforts, said the building on the southwestern edge of Kyiv near Zhuliany airport was hit between 16 and 21 floors on Saturday. He said at least six people were injured and apartments on two floors were gutted by fire. Emergency responders have evacuated 80 people.
Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko posted an image showing a gaping hole on one side of the apartment building.
Ukraine says 198 civilians killed in Russian invasion
Ukraine’s health minister said that 198 civilians, including three children, have been killed so far by Russian forces attacking the pro-Western country.
"Unfortunately, according to operative data, at the hands of the invaders we have 198 dead, including 3 children, 1,115 wounded, including 33 children," Health Minister Viktor Lyashko wrote on Facebook.
France to provide defensive military equipment to Ukraine - army spokesman
France has decided to send defensive military equipment to Ukraine to support the country against Russia’s invasion, a French army spokesman said on Saturday, adding that the issue of sending offensive arms was still under consideration.
"You can imagine that shipping the equipment is complicated at the moment", a spokesman for the French army’s Chief of Staff told reporters at a briefing.
Czech Republic to give arms worth millions of dollars to Kyiv
The Czech Republic will donate machine guns, automatic and sniper rifles, pistols and ammunition valued at 7.6 million euros ($8.6 million) to Ukraine, the defence minister said Saturday.
"The government on Saturday approved further help to Ukraine, which is facing a Russian attack," Minister Jana Cernochova said in a tweet.
"The defence ministry will also take care of transport to a place set by the Ukrainian side. Our help is not over," she added.
‘This war will last,’ warns France’s Macron
The world must brace for a long war between Russia and Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron warned on Saturday.
"If can tell you one thing this morning it is that this war will last.... This crisis will last, this war will last and all the crises that come with it will have lasting consequences," Macron’s told France’s annual agriculture fair, warning: "We must be prepared".
Biden approves $350 million in military aid for Ukraine
President Joe Biden instructed the U.S. State Department to release $350 million in military aid to Ukraine on Friday as it struggles to repulse a Russian invasion.
In a memorandum to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Biden directed that $350 million allocated through the Foreign Assistance Act be designated for Ukraine’s defense.
Ukrainian president vows to fight on in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he would stay in Kyiv as he appeared in a video filmed outside his office in the capital city.
I am here. We will not lay down any weapons. We will defend our state, because our weapons are our truth," he declared, denouncing as disinformation claims that he had surrendered or fled.
Russia targets Ukraine military infrastructure with cruise missiles
The Russian army has targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure with air- and sea-based cruise missiles, the defence ministry said, as Moscow pressed on with the invasion of the pro-Western country.
"During the night, the armed forces of the Russian Federation launched a strike with long-range precision weapons using air- and sea-launched cruise missiles against the military infrastructure of Ukraine," defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in televised remarks.
Russia vetoes UN resolution deploring ‘aggression’ in Ukraine
Russia, as expected, vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that deplored "in the strongest terms" the country s "aggression" against Ukraine and demanded the immediate withdrawal of its troops.
Eleven of the council s 15 members voted for the motion, which was co-written by the United States and Albania. China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstained.
The resolution was always doomed to fail because of Moscow’s veto power as a permanent member of the council.
NATO deploys response force for first time
NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg the alliance was deploying its rapid response force for the first time ever to bolster defences in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
"It is still a fluid situation. What we have seen is that the Ukrainian forces are fighting bravely and are actually able to inflict damage on the invading Russian forces," Stoltenberg said after a video summit of NATO leaders.
"It is a full invasion of Ukraine. They are moving towards Kyiv and the stated goal is to change the government of Ukraine."