Russian forces have launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, killing 137 people on the first day, as they pushed in from multiple directions. Multiple Ukrainian cities and villages were shelled, attacked with missiles, helicopters, tanks and ships, while ground forces have begun invading multiple parts of the country
The following is a liveblog of the Russian attacks.
Sirens have been activated in central Kyiv after several explosions could be heard in the vicinity.
Sirens were also activated in the Western city of Lviv.
A missile strike hit the airport in the city of Rivne but caused no serious damage, according to the mayor.
Additional multiple rumbling sounds heard not far from center of Kyiv.
Russia’s plan to seize Kyiv, according to Ukrainska Pravda intelligence sources: intensify attacks along the border, so troops leave Kyiv. Seize one of Kyiv’s airports, as saboteurs disconnect the city from electricity and communications, and organize arson and looting to create more panic. The plan would also entail a cyber attack on government websites, followed by inducing more panic to 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. Their desired goal is to seize the leadership of the state (whom that is is not specified) and force them to sign a peace agreement on Russian terms, threatening large civilian deaths. Even if part of the country’s leadership is evacuated, some pro-Russian politicians will be able to “take responsibility” and sign documents, citing the “escape” of the political leadership from Kyiv. The end result would be a partition of Ukraine, like East and West Germany.
The Biden administration has warned Russian forces are about 32 kilometers away from Kyiv. The officials say those are Russian mechanized forces that had entered Ukraine through Belarus.
Several loud explosions were heard near central Kyiv.
Two residential buildings in Kyiv are on fire from intercepted unidentified enemy aircraft. Three people were injured, one in critical condition, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, there is a risk of collapse. Buildings that were hit by the debris are on 7A Koshytsia Street.
The Russian military has established road checkpoints on Kyiv-Sumy highway. Russian troops are 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 are under siege.
A large military force is now moving towards Kyiv.
Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications gave the following update.
As of midnight, Ukrainian forces are conducting an organized defense in the south and have engaged in defensive battles east of Kherson. Ukraine’s mechanized forces reportedly defeated Russians in Rykovo district.
In Volyn, mechanized units have taken position on certain borders.
Combat is ongoing in Dovzhanka, Kharkiv, Okhtyrka and Sumy. Defensive engagements are also being conducted in Volchansk, Bily Kolodets and Prykolotno in Kharkiv oblast.
The navy is engaged in the south-western part of the Black Sea, defending Ukraine’s important ports, including Odesa and Chornomorsk.
Meanwhile more forces have been moved in to defend Kyiv.
According to Deputy Defense minister Anna Malyar, battles are ongoing in the districts of Pobeda and Glukhiv.
In the south, battles are continuing in Kherson oblast, with mechanized units of the Ukrainian armed forces securing a bridge across the Dnipro river.
Some Russian forces abandoned their armored 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 that 13 Ukrainian border guards were killed in the Russian bombardment of Zmiinyi Island.
The Ukrainian army has recaptured Antonov International Airport in Hostomel, less than 10 kilometers from Kyiv, the military reported. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine the airport in Hostomel is now “completely under the control” of Ukraine military after fierce fighting against Russian airborne forces. However, some reports say that fighting is still ongoing.
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.
Russia has landed over 200 paratroopers in the Antonov airport in Hostomel. Reports were mixed, with some sources saying the paratroopers were wiped out and others saying the battle is ongoing. Battles are also ongoing in Kherson, with Russia trying to flank the city from the east and continue the invasion into Mykolaiv.
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.
The parliament’s Telegram channel said there had been fierce fighting in the Luhansk area today, in the towns of Schastya, Stanitsa Luhanska, Lobachevo, Belovodsk and Starobilska. Ukrainian artillery stopped an enemy column of armored vehicles and Grad artillery near the occupieid town of Sentyanivka, according to the channel. The hottest fighting in the Donetsk area took place near Novotroitska, Novohnativke, Pavlopiv and Pishchevyk.
Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said that the battle over the Antonov airport at Hostomel is ongoing.
Telegram channels have reported multiple explosions in Kharkiv.
Ukraine’s commander-in-chief Valeriy Zaluzhniy says Russia’s “blitzkrieg has failed” due to Ukraine’s defenders. He vowed that Russian forces would be “awash with blood.”
The Ministry of Interior said that Russia has conducted 393 bombardments and shellings since the attack began, striking 32 civilian objects. Russia has killed scores of Ukrainians on Feb. 24, both military and civilians.
Russia’s attempts to break through the defensive line in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts have so far failed, according to the Joint Forces Operation.
The Antonov International Airport in the town of Hostomel 10 kilometers outside Kyiv has been fully captured by Russian forces, Podolyak said.
Russian forces are shelling hospitals, said Health Minister Victor Lyashko. This is a violation of the Geneva Convention, the minister said, calling the attacks “shameful” and “low”
Lyashko said that 57 people died as a result of Russia’s attacks in Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Ukrainian news are reporting that Russian forces have captured the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and have taken its staff as hostages. Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has confirmed the news. He said that the current state of the plant and the buried radioactive material is “unknown.”
Russia is still trying to take Zmiinyi island, Ukrainian forces reported. It was shelled heavily from Russian cruiser Moscow and patrol ship Vasily Bykov, after which it was bombed by Russian Su-24 aircraft. No buildings on the island remain intact.
Eighteen Russian Il-76 planes with paratroopers are headed from the Russian city of Pskov in the direction of Kyiv, Christo Grozev, the executive director of the Bellingcat investigative journalism project, reported, citing Ukrainian government sources. He said their “only plausible goal would be to capture and subordinate Kyiv (and install a puppet government) today while the world is watching and doing almost nothing.”
The U.S. believes Russia is trying to “behead” the Ukrainian government in Kyiv and establish its own.
Shelling continued all along the line of contact in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, with Schastya still under the control of Ukrainian troops, the Joint Forces Operation reported.
Ukrainian forces report that an entire reconnaissance platoon of Russia’s 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade has surrendered near Chernihiv.
Russian tanks have entered the city of Sumy, in Sumy oblast.
Zelensky said that the Ukrainian armed forces have forced Russia’s advance to pause. The most problematic situation is in the south of Ukraine — Ukrainian forces are fighting hard for the control of Kherson. In the north, Russia is pushing through Chernihiv oblast.
The armed forces said that a tank battle was ongoing in Velyky Osnyaki and Rivnopillia districts in Chernihiv oblast and that elements of Ukrainian tank forces have halted the Russian columns in the area.
Russia attempted to land paratroopers near the Kyiv reservoir.
More Russian forces made a tactical landing in the Bessarabian and Tavriyan operational areas.
The National Guard is battling to retain control of the Antonov airport at Hostomel. The National Guard reportedly had to drop an artillery strike against the airport, which had been attacked by Russian airborne troops.
Russian forces are trying to capture the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. President Volodymyr Zelensky called it “a declaration of war against all of Europe.”
The death toll from an earlier strike on a military unit in Odesa has risen to 22 (11 men and 11 women), regional authorities have said.
Attacks in Kherson have killed 13 people, including two children and nine service members.
Ukrainian forces stopped 15 Russian tanks in Sumy oblast using Javelin anti-tank missiles provided by the U.S.
Russian forces have pushed into the Chornobyl exclusion zone, according to adviser to the Interior Minister, Anton Herashchenko. The fighting is taking place not far from the Chornobyl power plant. Herashchenko warned that shelling may disturb buried radioactive material.
CNN is reporting that the Antonov airport just outside Kyiv has fallen to the Russian airborne troops but the Ukrainian armed forces are refuting this information.
Russian forces have captured the city of Henichevsk and the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, both of which are located in Kherson Oblast.
Kyivans are being asked to urgently take cover in bomb shelters.
People in the eastern city of Kharkiv packed into subway stations to escape the explosions pounding their city.
Russian forces have lost five APCs and a car while pushing from the direction of Rudnya in Belarus to Vystupovichi in Ukraine, according to the armed forces.
Ukraine is using the Turkish-made Bayraktar drones against Russian forces.
Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said on Thursday that the city’s civilian neighborhoods have come under heavy fire by Russian Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems. People have been wounded but so far, the injuries are non life-threatening, he said. However, three people have been killed when Russia blasted a small populated area near the Mariupol airport. Sustained bombardment of the airport caused damage to the runways.
Explosions and gunfire have been reported in the city of Sumy. Russian military vehicles have been spotted near Bezdryk in Sumy oblast.
Fighting is continuing near Shchastya in Luhansk Oblast, according to the Ministry of the Interior.
Russian forces are continuing to advance into Kherson oblast under air cover.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russia has carried out over 30 attacks against Ukraine using cruise missiles, multiple launch rocket systems, artillery and aviation. The attacks struck both military and civilian infrastructure.
About 34 Russian helicopters were attacking the airfield at Hostomel. Ukrainian forces reported bringing down three Russian Kamov Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters near Hostomel.
A Russian attack brought down a building in Lypetske Village in Odesa Oblast, killing 18 people and trapping more under rubble.
Russian forces are trying to break through the Ukrainian border in Kyiv Oblast, some 100 kilometers northwest of Kyiv, according to the Border Guard Service says. Ukrainian forces are fighting back.
A similar attempt to break through is ongoing in Zhytomyr Oblast. Border guards and troops are fighting.
The same was reported in Kyiv oblast, where Russian military equipment pushed into the Vilcha crossing and fought against the state border guard service.
Six people have been killed and twelve wounded in Brovary, its mayor reports.
The village of New York in Donetsk oblast is under fire by Russian-sponsored occupiers.
The city of Brovary in Kyiv Oblast came under attack by two “Caliber” type rockets.
Heavy shelling in the town of Hostomel near Kyiv has been reported. Hostomel is the site of an international cargo airport and testing facility in Ukraine owned by Ukraine’s premier aviation company Antonov.
An explosion was reported in the downtown neighborhood of Podil in Kyiv. Photos showed a plume of smoke rising over the area.
A drone has reportedly been shot down in the city of Irpin’ near Kyiv.
As of 11 a.m. two unidentified vessels approached Zmiinyi Island off the coast of Southwestern Ukraine.
In Odesa, a National Guard building came under what is likely rocket fire. The same thing happened in Kyiv, where a National Guard post was fired upon.
Mortars fired near Derhachy crossing in Kharkiv Oblast.
Three civilians died from shelling in the city of Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast.
The Ukrainian armed forces reported that they were able to halt an enemy advance in Chernihiv Oblast and that “difficult battles” are ongoing in the direction of Kharkiv, where Russia lost people and equipment. The military says it’s in control of the cities of Schastya in Luhansk oblast and Mariupol in Donetsk oblast.
The Kulbakinsky military airfield in Mykolaiv Oblast was attacked, wounding one person.
In Kharkiv Oblast, Russian forces invaded Ukrainian territory through the Pisky border checkpoint.
Two military units came under fire in Dnipropetrovsk oblast and an airfield tower was destroyed.
In Zaporizhia oblast, a military unit in Bliznyuki is currently under artillery fire. An explosion destroyed three houses and a shop in Kamyanska-Dniprovska. In Berdyansk district, an air defense unit came under attack, with one soldier killed and five wounded.
One border guard was killed by a rocket near the village of Preobrazhenka in Kherson oblast and a second bridge – in Genichesky district – was destroyed in the region.
A military airfield came under shelling in Myrhorod in Poltava region, wounding four service members.
Telegram channels showed videos from Odesa revealing smoke rising from the rubble of a destroyed civilian warehouse.
There was no radio communication with military elements in Stanytsia Luhanska village and Shchastia. Forces in Pivnich reported the explosion of a bridge across the Seversky Donets river.
In Luhansk Oblast, Russian forces have reportedly captured the villages of Ilove, Horodyschche and Schastia. Severodonetsk Airport was hit as well. In Novoaidar, shelling was heard in the area of Trokhizbenka. A battle is ongoing in the village of Belovodsk.
A shell hit the center of Uman: One civilian person died and five others were hospitalized, according to Cherkasy Oblast State Administration Head Oleksandr Skichko.
Shelling hitting military fuel and lubricants caused fires in Starokostiantyniv village in Khmelnytskyi Oblast. In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the military depots at Krasnopillya and Marhanets were in flames.
In Vinnytsia Oblast, military units in Tulchyn and the village of Bohan came under attack and were on fire. In Lutsk Oblast, a television tower was blown up. A military outpost near Brovary in Kyiv Oblast was on fire.
Lutsk airport was shelled, killing one Emergency Service member. A fire broke out in a military depot near the village of Radushnitsi in Poltava Oblast and the village of Rozsoshkiv in Cherkasy Oblast, as well as a military outpost in the village of Kamianska Buzka in Lviv Oblast.
A military airfield runway in Khmelnytsky Oblast was shelled and a shell hit Kramatorsk Airport. In Zhytomyr Oblast, a shell hit a military warehouse, while shelling struck a military unit in Ivano-Frankivsk.
The Russian military has struck numerous border checkpoints, including in Pisarevka, Hoptovka, Bachevsk, Mylovo, and others. Sloboda, Beseloye, Volchansk, Derhachi, Topol and Zolotov came under fire.
In a military town in Brovary, a four-story building was struck and the residents are being evacuated — up to six people were injured.
Arson was detected in an ammunition depot in the village of Olshanytsia, Bila Tserkva district in Kyiv Oblast. There was another fire at the National Guard of Ukraine headquarters in the village of Novi Petrivtsi. More damage was done in the village of Mezhyhirya in Kyiv Oblast. Three Emergency Service personnel were injured from a blast on a command and control post in Nizhyn.
Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said an airport tower exploded in the town of Ananyiv, in Odesa. A fire ignited in Revne village in Kyiv Oblast.
Shortly after that, the command and control point of the Nizhyn airfield in Chernihiv Oblast was blown up as well. Work is underway to rescue people trapped in the rubble.
Shelling began in Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Luhansk, Odesa, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, and Kyiv oblasts, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Some shells have struck the capital of Kyiv, hitting territory of a military unit and two billboards in central Kyiv. Other blasts were heard in outlying neighborhoods, including in the Sofiivska Borshchahivka.
Several loud explosions were heard near the Boryspil Airport, Kyiv’s main airport. The mayor of Boryspil said those were the sounds of the Ukrainian air defense intercepting Russian missiles. It is not yet known whether any damage was done to the airport.
Grad rockets and other artillery have continued to pour over the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.
Surveillance cameras recorded Russian troops crossing into Sumy Oblast and the Chornobyl exclusion zone in Kyiv Oblast. According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a military invasion of the territory of Luhansk, Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odesa oblasts have been recorded.
Border guards have reported that in Luhansk Oblast, Russian tank columns entered the settlements of Krasna Talovka, Mylovoye and Horodyshche.
The villages of Horodyshche and Milove in Luhansk Oblast were captured not long after. However, the Armed Forces of Ukraine said they repulsed a Russian attack on the city of Shchastia in Luhansk Oblast, killing about 50 enemies.
Telegram channels showed videos of a burning naval base near the southern city of Odesa, but the government has denied reports of Russian amphibious landings in the city.
Heavy shelling struck the eastern city of Kharkiv. Explosions rang out near Kharkiv subway stations. Shelling hit Ukrainian military units in Borov and Lozova in Kharkiv Oblast. Residents showed videos of buildings damaged by rockets.
The National Police also reported about a deep penetration by Russian troops into Chernihiv and Kharkiv oblasts.
On the airfields of Melitopol and Ozerne village of Zhytomyr Oblast, a plane was blown up amid constant shelling.
Source: Kyiv Independent