Ukraine says missile strikes on Kyiv have resumed as Russian invasion enters 2nd day – National |

The latest as of 11:30 p.m. ET Thursday:

  • The Pentagon has told U.S. lawmakers Russian troops are about 30 kilometres outside Kyiv, according to sources.
  • Ukraine’s military says intense fighting is underway on Friday morning in the city of Sumy in the country’s northeast.
  • An attack on southeastern border crossing has killed and wounded an unknown number of guards, Ukraine’s border guard agency said.
  • Explosions were heard in Kyiv as the Ukrainian military says it shot down a Russian aircraft over the capital; government officials say missile strikes on the city have resumed 

Ukraine officials say Russian missile strikes have resumed on Kyiv Friday, as the military said it shot down a Russian aircraft over the capital in the second day of a full-scale invasion on the democratic country.

Loud blasts were heard in the early morning hours by people in Kyiv, according to officials and witness reports, as Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders advancing toward the city.

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U.S. and Ukrainian officials say Russia aims to capture Kyiv and topple the government, which Putin regards as a puppet of the United States. Russian troops on Thursday seized the Chernobyl former nuclear power plant north of Kyiv as they advanced along the shortest route to Kyiv from Belarus to the north.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers on a phone call that Russian mechanized forces that entered from Belarus were about 30 kilometres from Kyiv, sources on the call told the Associated Press and CNN.

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Live: World reacts as Russia invades Ukraine

Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the interior minister, told reporters Friday that missile strikes on the city had resumed, but did not provide further details.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the last time Kyiv had experienced such “horrific” missile strikes was in 1941 during the Second World War, when it was attacked by Nazi Germany.

“Ukraine defeated that evil and will defeat this one,” he said on Twitter.

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Herashchenko later confirmed a Russian aircraft had been shot down, causing the aircraft to crash into a residential building in Kyiv and set it on fire.

He said some of the loud bangs heard in the city were from the air defense system that shot the aircraft down.

It was unclear whether the aircraft was manned or whether it could be a missile. Kyiv municipal authorities said at least eight people were injured when the object crashed into the apartment block.

Separately, Ukraine’s border guard agency said a missile strike hit a border post in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhya, killing and wounding some guards. The region has no land border with Russia, but is located on the coast of the Azov Sea which the neighbors share.

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The military also said it was involved in intense fighting in the city of Sumy in Ukraine’s northeast.

‘Subversive groups’ in Kyiv, Zelenskyy says

Late Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the government had information that “subversive groups” were encroaching on the city, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Kyiv “could well be under siege.”

Zelenskyy vowed he would not leave the capital, even though he said is is Moscow’s “number one target.”

“My family is the number two target,” he said. “They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.”

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“I will stay in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine.”

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Ukraine orders full military mobilization to counter Russian invasion

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine early Thursday morning, which has already resulted in over 100 Ukrainian deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Putin says Russia is carrying out “a special military operation” to stop the Ukrainian government from committing genocide against its own people — an accusation the West calls baseless. He also says Ukraine is an illegitimate state whose lands historically belong to Russia.

Western countries including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, as well as Japan and Australia, imposed harsh new sanctions on major Russian banks and state-owned businesses in response.

Click to play video: 'Russian invasion sparks global solidarity for Ukraine, condemnation of Putin'

Russian invasion sparks global solidarity for Ukraine, condemnation of Putin

Russian invasion sparks global solidarity for Ukraine, condemnation of Putin

NATO — whose eastern expansion Putin has fought against for years — said it is mobilizing extra defence forces on its eastern flank near Ukraine in response.

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Zelenskyy ordered a full military mobilization to counter the Russian incursion, with the military bringing in weapons that could be picked up by citizens willing to join the fight. Martial law has also been declared throughout Ukraine.

The attacks prompted many Ukrainians to flee to nearby countries, including Poland and Romania, or hide underground in subway stations.

The United Nations Security Council will vote Friday on a draft resolution that would condemn Russia for invading Ukraine and require Moscow to immediately and unconditionally withdraw. Yet the measure is set to fail because Russia, which currently holds the council’s revolving-door presidency, can cast a veto.

–With files from Reuters and the Associated Press

More to come…

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