Monday, February 6

It’s Day 3 of the Russian invasion into Ukraine. Here’s the latest

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War arrived on the streets of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Saturday, as the country’s military battled to hold back advancing Russian troops in multiple locations, forcing residents to seek shelter amid the sound of explosions and gunfire.

If you’re just joining us, here’s what you need to know:

  • Apartment building struck: A residential building was hit by a missile or rocket early Saturday as many in the city slept, with images and video showing extensive damage to apartments some tens floors up, with outer walls torn away completely. The cause of the strike and extent of casualties is not yet known.
  • Fighting on the streets: Early Saturday, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry warned on Facebook that “Active fighting is taking place on the streets of our city.” It urged residents to stay calm, hide indoors, take cover — and head to the nearest shelter immediately if they hear air raid sirens.
  • Overnight battles: Explosions in and around the capital were seen and heard from 2 to 4 a.m., with a brief lull before gunshots were heard before dawn. It’s the first time blasts have been reported inside the city proper, after days of heavy fighting on the outskirts. The Ukrainian military attributed some of the early morning explosions to to the destruction of a Russian tank.
  • Residents take up arms: Ukrainians have been preparing to defend their capital in recent days, with officials arming reservists and Ukrainian TV broadcasting instructions for making Molotov cocktails. Even members of parliament told CNN they have picked up guns and learned to shoot in preparation of battle.
  • President defiant: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to defend his country in a video filmed Friday night while standing on a Kyiv street with other leaders of his administration. “We are all here defending our independence,” he said. “Glory to Ukraine!”
  • Conflict elsewhere: The mayor of the town of Vasilkiv, some 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) south of Kyiv, said early on Saturday that fierce fighting in the town had led to losses on the Ukrainian side.
  • Ukrainians flee the war: Many Kyiv residents had left by Friday, leaving quiet the roads heading west of the capital that had been busy on Thursday. More than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have left the country in less than 48 hours, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who said the majority have gone to Poland and Moldova. 

Kyiv residents go underground as Russian troops advance and escape routes dwindle

A person looks out of a building in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday February 26.

The residents of Kyiv lived through yet another terrifying night as Russian forces entered the city limits.

While the previous two nights were marked by the sounds of sporadic explosions coming from further away, Friday night was different.

There were bursts of small arms fire, orange lines of fire going up into the sky. Gunfire could be heard near the city center. At dawn, a fire broke in western Kyiv after an apartment building was struck by missile or rocket 

The city remained dark with curtains drawn and lights off, an attempt to become invisible to the enemy. 

As the sun rose, Ukrainian Interior Ministry issued a warning to the people of Kyiv, saying active fighting was taking place on the streets of the capital city, although there was no sign of conflict yet in the city center.

Residents were told to stay indoors and away from the windows, an advice they followed diligently. There was not a soul in the streets around the city center as morning arrived, in contrast to the bustling streets just a few days ago. Many had spent the night in subway stations and underground garages, seeking safe havens from any potential explosions. 

As Russian troops close in on the city, the opportunities to escape the violence are getting fewer and far between. On Friday night, the Ukrainian Railway Company put out several special evacuation trains to the west, saying women, children and those with limited mobility would be given priority.

The passengers were told not to be alarmed if the lights go off. “The less the train looks like a garland, the safer the journey,” the company said.21 min ago

Apartment building in Kyiv struck by missile or rocket overnight, casualties unknown

(From Telegram Nexta)
(From Telegram Nexta)

A residential building near Kyiv’s second airport was struck by a missile or rocket fire early Saturday, with images from the scene showing a large impact some ten floors up.

The outer walls of several apartment units appear blown out entirely, the interiors blackened and debris hanging loose. Smoke is still hanging in the air.

The cause of the strike is unclear. 

Emergency services are at the scene, but the extent of casualties is unknown, said Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko.

In a tweet Saturday morning, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba shared a photo of the damaged building. “Kyiv, our splendid, peaceful city, survived another night under attacks by Russian ground forces, missiles,” he wrote. “I demand the world: fully isolate Russia, expel ambassadors, oil embargo, ruin its economy. Stop Russian war criminals!”

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