Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, came under missile attack Friday morning as Russian troops closed in, according to reports and video footage.
Ukrainian defense officials raised the alarm about multiple missile strikes hitting Kyiv as of Friday morning, and video footage verified by The New York Times showed an explosion in the early morning sky over part of the outskirts of the city.
“Going outside is now very dangerous due to the approach of the enemy. The only exception may be the need to move to a shelter if the Air Alarm signal is activated. Stay away from windows while at home,” the Kyiv City Council warned on its website. (RELATED: ‘Putin Chose This War’: Biden Lays Out New Sanctions Against Russia After Full-Scale Invasion)
Kyiv now. Russians will never be forgiven for this. The last time similar scenes were witnessed in the Ukrainian capital was during the attack of Nazi Germany in WWII pic.twitter.com/g421yinG55
— Olga Tokariuk (@olgatokariuk) February 24, 2022
Natali Sevriukova reacts near her house following a rocket attack the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. pic.twitter.com/TTjFnbaHnH
— Emilio Morenatti (@EmilioMorenatti) February 25, 2022
Throughout the night, blasts could be heard in the capitol as the city gave out 18,000 weapons to reservists in the region, Ukrainian authorities said, according to CNN. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also warned that Russian troops had entered a neighborhood just miles from Kyiv’s city center, CNN also reported.
Meanwhile, reports rolled in of civilian buildings facing damage from shelling in Kyiv, The New York Times and Reuters reported. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in one report that a rocket fragment had hit a residential building, causing some injuries, the NYT added.
Despite footage and photographs showing the damage, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed the country was not hitting civilian structures, CBS News reported.
“No strikes are being conducted on civilian infrastructure,” Lavrov claimed, adding that “no one is going to attack the Ukrainian people.”
“No strikes are being made on the location of the personnel of the Ukrainian army in dormitories and other places that are not associated with shock military facilities, and the statistics that are available now confirms this,” Lavrov said.
The Cabinet Ministers of Ukraine also tweeted early Friday morning that the Russian military had descended upon Kyiv and was trying to enter the city. Meanwhile, reports from journalists on the ground rang out about civilians in the city bunkering down in air raid shelters or fleeing the area entirely.
— AFP Photo (@AFPphoto) February 25, 2022
— The Straits Times (@straits_times) February 25, 2022
“First light now showing in Kyiv. Long night of missile strikes, civilians seeking safety in bomb shelters,” Nolan Peterson, a war reporter based in Ukraine, tweeted. “Reports of Russian tanks advancing on the city as Ukrainian forces fiercely resist. A European capital under siege in 2022. Not sure what else to say.”
As Russian forces closed in on the city and attacked from the air, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued an address on video to his country and Russia.
“Tonight you began bombing residential areas in the hero city of Kyiv,” Zelenskyy said, according to a translation of his remarks. “This is like 1941. I want to tell all Russian citizens who are coming out to protest: we hear you, you heard us, you started to believe us. Fight for us. Fight the war.”
Zelensky speaks to Russians again.
“Tonight you began bombing residential areas in the hero city of Kyiv. This is like 1941. I want to tell all Russian citizens who are coming out to protest: we hear you, you heard us, you started to believe us. Fight for us. Fight the war.” pic.twitter.com/Nt3FxYYlL0
— max seddon (@maxseddon) February 25, 2022
“If you are in Europe and have combat experience and you can’t watch the helplessness of your government, you can come here and protect Europe together with us. We need you,” Zelenskyy pleaded, according to CBS News.