Ukrainian Officials Report Multiple Missile Attacks in Kyiv
After a rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday.Credit...Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press
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Live Updates: Ukrainian Officials Report Multiple Missile Attacks in Kyiv

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  • “They say that civilian objects are not a target for them,” Ukraine’s president said in a televised address. “It is a lie, they do not distinguish in which areas to operate.”

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Russia Ukraine conflict : Leaders try to reassure Ukrainians that they will stand strong.

In Russia Ukraine conflict, Ukrainian officials prepared for an attack on the capital Kiev on Friday. Because an explosion occurred in the night sky on the outskirts of the city and a rocket crashed into a civilian apartment building.

Russia Ukraine conflict: Firefighters extinguishing a blaze at a damaged residential building in suburban Kyiv on Friday. Credit...Ukraine Emergency Ministry, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Firefighters extinguishing a blaze at a damaged residential building in suburban Kyiv on Friday.Credit…Ukraine Emergency Ministry, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ukrainian officials said there were several missile strikes in Kiev, but the target and damage were not clear.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of targeting civilian areas, including Kiev, with rocket attacks on Friday morning.

“They say civilian goods are not their target. It’s a lie, they don’t distinguish which areas to work in,” he said in a televised address.

The rocket attacks resumed around 4 am, he claimed. That “the enemy was stopped in most directions, the fighting continues.”

“The purpose of this attack is to put pressure not only on the government, but on all Ukrainians,” he said.

As Russian forces advanced on Kiev, officials tried to reassure Ukrainians that the government would be strong.

“The first days are the toughest, because right now the enemy will feel it has an advantage. Or will break physically and morally,” said Deputy Defense Minister Hannah Malayar on Friday morning before calling people to join. General mobilization.
“It is important that everyone is strong in spirit,” Ms Malayar said. “This is our land. We will not hand it over.”

Authorities fear a major attack on the city of 2.8 million people.

The foreign minister, Dmitro Kuleba, wrote on Twitter: “Horrible Russian rocket attack on Kiev.” He said that the last time the capital had a similar experience was in 1941, when it was attacked by Nazi Germany.

“Ukraine has defeated that evil and will defeat it. Stop Putin,” Mr. Kuleba said, referring to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.

Video verified by The Times shows a huge explosion in the sky on the outskirts of southern Kiev. Eyewitnesses filmed fire debris falling over parts of the city. The video shows at least two surface-to-air missiles being fired near Kiev before the explosion.

According to Ukrainian officials, a rocket tore apart a civilian building in a residential neighborhood.

Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said on Twitter that according to preliminary reports, three people were injured. One of them is in critical condition when a residential building came under the rubble. He said emergency workers were at the scene and the house was on fire and in danger of collapsing.

Mr Klitschko, a former heavyweight champion in boxing, said in an interview with Good Morning Britain on Thursday that Russia’s Mr Putin had “lost reality” and was ready to take up arms to defend against Russia’s invasion.

“I don’t have another option – I have to do that,” he said.

Russia Ukraine News LIVE: Ukraine’s nuclear agency said on Friday it was recording increased radiation levels from the site of the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, a senior Ukrainian defence official warned that Russian forces would enter areas just outside the capital Kyiv later on Friday after officials said the city and other locations had been struck by Russian missiles in the early hours of the morning. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that Russian forces are targeting civilian areas and urged Russians to protest against war. Earlier on Friday, he said that Russia resumed missile strikes at 4 a.m., but its troops had been stopped from advancing in most directions. In a televised speech, Zelenskiy said the Russian strikes were aimed at both military and civilian targets. Russia pressed its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of the capital Friday after unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order. Explosions sounded before dawn in Kyiv as Western leaders scheduled an emergency meeting and Ukraine’s president pleaded for international help.

Latest on Ukraine crisis:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed to stay in Kyiv as his troops battled Russian invaders who are advancing toward the capital in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.
  • Russian forces had captured the Chernobyl former nuclear power plant on the route between Belarus and Kyiv, a Ukrainian presidential adviser said.
  • Ukrainian forces downed an aircraft over Kyiv, which then crashed into a residential building, said Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the interior minister. A missile hit a Ukrainian border post in the southeast, killing and wounding some guards.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said his aim was to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine. He said any hindrance would be met by “such consequences that you have never encountered in your history”.
  • U.S. President Joe Biden said Putin’s action was about naked aggression. He unveiled new sanctions on its banks and wealthy elite and export restrictions.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said he held a “frank, direct and quick” phone call with Putin on Thursday to ask him to stop military operations because Zelenskiy had asked him to.
  • Britain, Canada, the EU, Australia, Japan, Taiwan and others unveiled sanctions against Russia, targeting banks, military exports and members of Putin’s inner circle.

Protests in Russia

  • Russians shocked by the invasion turned out by the thousands for street protests in Moscow and other cities. They signed open letters and online petitions demanding the Kremlin halt the assault. One petition garnered 330,000 signatures by the end of the day. The crackdown was swift. Some 1,745 people in 54 Russian cities were detained, at least 957 of them in Moscow.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has posted a video of himself outside the presidential administration in Kyiv to dispel rumours that he has fled the capital, reports the Guardian

More than 50,000 Ukrainians have fled, UN refugee agency says

More than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have left the country in less than 48 hours, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who said the majority have gone to Poland and Moldova. 

“More than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have fled their country in less than 48 hours – a majority to Poland and Moldova – and many more are moving towards its borders,” Grandi said in a tweet. “Heartfelt thanks to the governments and people of countries keeping their borders open and welcoming refugees.”

The United Nations refugee agency estimated Thursday that tens of thousands will be displaced as Russia invades Ukraine. The agency is stepping up operations and capacity in Ukraine and neighboring countries as people start to flee.

The Guardian has reported Therea large fire and explosion in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city

The Guardian shared a tweet, which contained an unverified video. We too are sharing the same tweet, with the same caveat: these visuals have yet to be confirmed. The text in the tweet, originallly in Cyrillic, reads, “Kharkov, industrial. blazes like hell”

Russia facing more resistance than it expected in Ukraine: US

Russia is facing more resistance than Moscow anticipated in its invasion of Ukraine, including in its advance on the capital, Kyiv, and appears to have lost some of its momentum, a senior US defence official said on Friday. Russian missiles pounded Kyiv on Friday, families cowered in shelters and authorities told residents to prepare Molotov cocktails to defend Ukraine’s capital from an assault that the mayor said had already begun with saboteurs in the city.

But the US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, suggested a mixed picture for the Russian effort to press an offensive that Washington and Kyiv say is aimed at decapitating the government and installing a puppet regime. “We do assess that there is greater resistance by the Ukrainians than the Russians expected,” the senior defense official said, adding Ukraine’s command and control of its military “remains intact”. “They are not moving on Kyiv as fast as what we believe they anticipated they would be able to do. That said, they continue to try to move on Kyiv.” (Image: Reuters)

Ukrainian civilians try to defend Ukraine country

US says Russia launching amphibious assault on Ukraine port 

In the latest alarming development, a senior US defence source has briefed Pentagon reporters that they believed Russia has launched an amphibious landing with thousands of naval infantry to the west of the key southern coastal city of Mariupol, the Guardian reports. While the claim had few details, video posted on social media earlier appeared to show a column of Russian armoured vehicles, including T-72B3 tanks and BMP-3 armoured vehicles, moving through the coastal town of Prymorsk which is located between Melitopol and Mauripol. Describing the “amphibious assault” underway from the Sea of Azov a senior US defence official told reporters on Friday that Russians “putting potentially thousands of naval infantry ashore there.”

He added: “The general assumption is they are going to move towards the northeast, towards Mariupol and the Donbas region.”

Several social media accounts in the region also show images and accounts of volleys of Russian Grad missiles hitting targets near Mariupol late on Friday afternoon. If the account of the landing is confirmed as true, the aim would appear to be to allow Russian marines to link up with forces further east in the Donbas region.

Ukraine reports higher Chernobyl radiation after Russians capture plant

Ukraine said on Friday it had recorded increased radiation levels from the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a day after the site was captured by Russian forces, due to military activity causing radioactive dust to rise into the air. The former power plant was captured by Russian forces on Thursday after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office said.

Experts at Ukraine’s state nuclear agency did not provide exact radiation levels but said the change was due to the movement of heavy military equipment in the area lifting radioactive dust into the air. “Radiation starts to increase. It is not critical for Kyiv for the time being, but we are monitoring,” the interior ministry said. (Image: AP)

Ukraine reports higher Chernobyl radiation after Russians capture plant

FILE – A Soviet-era top secret object Duga, an over-the-horizon radar system once used as part of the Soviet missile defense early-warning radar network, seen behind a radioactivity sign in Chernobyl, Ukraine, on Nov. 22, 2018. Among the most worrying developments on an already shocking day, as Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, was warfare at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, where radioactivity is still leaking from history’s worst nuclear disaster 36 years ago. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

Watch | A train station in the Polish city of Przemysl has been converted into a relief centre for Ukrainians seeking refuge

Russia kicked out of Eurovision Song Contest

Following a slew of sporting events pulling out, Russia has now been banned from entering the Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said. A statement from the body, which produces the competition, said the decision “reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute”.

Russia blames OCSE for current state of affairs

Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova blamed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OCSE) for not doing enough to ensure Kyiv abided by the Minsk agreement, which she claimed would have ensured the two breakaway regions — Donetsk and Luhansk — would have remained part of Ukraine “with special status and with Ukraine guarding the borders”.

UK defence ministry shares Russian troop locations

The United Kingdom’s ministry of defence, slamming Russia’s “unprovoked and illegal assault on Ukraine”, shared a defence intelligence report pinpointing Russian troop locations.

Russian military claims “successful landing operation” to capture Hostomel airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv

Russian defence ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov claimed on Friday that Russian forces staged a “successful landing operation” to capture Hostomel airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv, CNN reported.”More than 200 Russian helicopters were involved in the operation,” according to the statement. “The success of the landing was ensured by the suppression of the entire air defense system in the landing area, the complete isolation of the combat area from the air and the active conduct of electronic warfare.”

Konashenkov claimed that Russian forces killed more than 200 of the opposing forces and that there were no casualties among in the Russian Armed Forces.

Ukraine appeals for US to weild influence over Europe to cut Russia from SWIFT network

In a telephone call on Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on his US counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, to urge “hesitant European” leaders to ban Russia from SWIFT, a high-security messaging network that connects thousands of financial institutions around the world, CNN reported.

“Another call with my American friend and counterpart [Secretary Blinken] on the need to use all US influence on some hesitant European countries in order to ban Russia from SWIFT,” Kuleba tweeted.  The United States and European Union have so far held back from cutting Russia off from SWIFT after failing to agree on a step that some have called the “nuclear option.” In a tweet shared after the call between Kuleba and Blinken, the Ukrainian foreign minister noted that the two also discussed the “further supply of defensive weapons to Ukraine.”

First batch of Indian evacuees arrive in Romania, says MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs just a few minutes ago confirmed that the first batch of Indians has safely entered into Romania through the Sacaeva border crossing. “The first batch of evacuees from Ukraine reach Romania via Suceava border crossing. Our team at Suceava will now facilitate travel to Bucharest for their onward journey to India,” MEA said in a tweet accompanied by a video.

Zelensky says Russian saboteurs are in Kyiv and he is Moscow’s prime target.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, said that he remained in the country despite rumors that he had fled and that despite his efforts the country should not expect help from abroad.CreditCredit...Office of the President of Ukraine
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, said that he remained in the country despite rumors that he had fled and that despite his efforts the country should not expect help from abroad.CreditCredit…Office of the President of Ukraine

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said that Russian saboteurs had entered Kyiv, the capital, and that he was “target No. 1” for Russian forces, followed by his family.

In a short video address released after midnight on Friday in Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky, unshaven and wearing a T-shirt, said that 137 Ukrainians, military and civilian, had been killed so far in the Russian invasion that began Thursday morning.

“There is also information about the enemy’s sabotage groups entering Kyiv,” he said. “This is why I am asking citizens of Kyiv to be vigilant and adhere to the rules of martial law.”

Speaking in Ukrainian rather than his native Russian, he disputed Russia’s claims that it was striking only military targets. “They’re killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets,” he said.

“According to the available intelligence, the enemy marked me as a target No. 1 and my family as the target No. 2,” he said. “They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of the state.”

Mr. Zelensky warned Ukrainians not to expect help from abroad. “We are left to our own devices in defense of our state,” he said. “Who is ready to fight together with us? Honestly, I do not see such.”

Among the many false rumors circulating, Mr. Zelensky said, was one that he had fled the country. “I am staying in the capital,” he said, adding that his family was also in Ukraine but that he could not disclose their location.

In Washington, the Biden administration said it was aware of Mr. Zelensky’s whereabouts. The administration “is in touch with him,” according to Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs contributed reporting from Washington.Show more

Russian invasion forces penetrate Ukraine on multiple fronts and close in on Kyiv.

Families boarding evacuation trains in Kramatorsk on Thursday evening, bound for Kyiv, the capital, and Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine.Credit...Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
Families boarding evacuation trains in Kramatorsk on Thursday evening, bound for Kyiv, the capital, and Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine.Credit…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — The Russian military plunged into Ukraine by land, sea and air on Thursday, killing more than 100 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, and ominously touching off a pitched battle at the highly radioactive area around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor that melted down in 1986.

Day 1 of the first major land war in Europe in decades began before sunrise with the terrifying thud of artillery strikes on airports and military installations all over Ukraine. A senior Pentagon official said that three lines of Russian troops and military forces were moving swiftly toward Ukrainian cities — one heading south from Belarus toward Kyiv, the capital; another toward Kharkiv, in northeast Ukraine; and a third toward Kherson in the south, near Crimea. The forces were using missiles and long-range artillery, the official said.

By sunset, Russian special forces and airborne troops were pushing into the outskirts of Kyiv. While the ultimate goal of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, and his generals remained unclear, American officials assessed that the end game was likely the replacement of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government with a Russian-controlled puppet regime.

The lethal realities spurred tens of thousands of Ukrainians to flee by car or bus toward the far-western part of the country, which was deemed safer, snarling the roads, and there were long lines at gas stations.

The day also ended with Russian forces in control of the facility at Chernobyl, according to Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s office, though the condition of the plant and its nuclear waste storage facilities was unknown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain spoke to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on Friday morning. He told him that “the world is united in its horror” at the Russian aggression, paid tribute to the “bravery and heroism of the Ukrainian people,” and “committed to provide further U.K. support to Ukraine,” Downing Street said in a statement.

Invading Russian forces press deep into Ukraine

Russian forces have reached the outskirts of Kyiv. Ukraine President Zelensky has said invading troops are targeting civilians and explosions can be heard in the besieged capital.

Photographers capture the uncertainty and fear among Ukrainians.

For weeks, a Russian invasion had been expected by some Ukrainians and merely sequestered in the mind’s recesses by others. But once the sweeping attacks began on Thursday, hitting seemingly every corner of the country, the war became unavoidably tangible for Ukrainians — a hovering cloud of darkness that once seemed unimaginable in the post-Cold War era. These images are a visual documentation of a populace coping with the initial stages of a national military invasion, struggling with newfound uncertainty and fear.

Ukraine’s defense ministry, in a post on its official Facebook page, warned residents in a district in northern Kiev of fighting with Russian forces nearby, telling them to stay home and prepare Molotov cocktails.

Ukrainian troops killed on Snake Island to be honored.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said the guards killed on Snake Island would be posthumously awarded the title of “Hero of Ukraine.”Credit...Ukraine presidency, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said the guards killed on Snake Island would be posthumously awarded the title of “Hero of Ukraine.”Credit…Ukraine presidency, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A small contingent of Ukrainian border guards defending Snake Island, a remote outpost in the Black Sea, were among the 137 civilians and military personnel killed in Thursday’s attacks, according to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

“All border guards died heroically but did not give up,” Mr. Zelensky said in a short video message posted just after midnight on Friday. He added that the guards would be posthumously awarded the title of “Hero of Ukraine.”

Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, is 30 miles off the coast of Ukraine and less than one-tenth of a square mile in area. The island grew in importance for Ukraine’s maritime territorial claims after nearby Crimea was seized by Russia in 2014.

In an audio clip circulating online, an approaching Russian warship ordered Ukrainian guards on the island to “lay down arms and surrender.” The guards on the island rejected the demand, using an expletive.

South Korea, which exports semiconductors, automobiles and electronics to Russia, is bracing for any economic slowdown resulting from the international sanctions being placed against Russia. South Korea’s financial authorities said they are reserving up to 2 trillion won, or $1.7 billion, in emergency funds to support its companies. The Korean government has not specified what sanctions it will place upon Russia.

‘Ukraine is helpless and we are helpless here’: Immigrants in America watch in horror.

The Rev. Jason Charron led a prayer vigil at the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie, Pa., on Thursday.Credit...Jared Wickerham for The New York Times
The Rev. Jason Charron led a prayer vigil at the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie, Pa., on Thursday.Credit…Jared Wickerham for The New York Times

PARMA, Ohio — Ukrainian Americans, watching the Russian attack on their homeland with horror and anger on Thursday, described Ukraine as vulnerable and helpless — but also as a country with the same aspirations as the United States.

“Americans have to realize that this is about freedom and being able to live one’s life as they see fit, to govern as they want to, and not to be put under the power of a dictator’s ego,” said the Very Rev. John Nakonachny, 75, pastor of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Parma, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb with a sizable Ukrainian population.

“Isn’t caring about what happens in Ukraine something Americans would get behind?” he asked.

Peter Teluk, 55, worked in Ukraine for 25 years as a consultant for American business interests and returned to the United States last year. He urged Americans not to turn a blind eye to the conflict.

“The U.S. has a short attention span and has a desire to think less about foreign conflict these days,” said Mr. Teluk, a lawyer in the Cleveland area. But he said the United States should appreciate that Ukraine was “symbolically what we want the rest of the world to be — a country that wants to define what it is by themselves.”

“We should understand that,” he continued, “because that is what we have always believed.”

Taras Szmagala Jr., the board chairman and president of the Ukrainian Catholic University Foundation, said President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was threatened by the growing independent voice of middle-class Ukrainians. Russians, he said, are hearing those voices and seeing what a democracy can bring them.

“Ukrainians are maturing as a society and they are getting better over time, and that is a threat to Putin,” he said. “The Americans and the media need to see that side of things.”

Across the nation, Ukrainian immigrants said they felt a profound sense of helplessness as they heard from panicked relatives who felt trapped as much of their home country was transformed into a war zone.

“I didn’t sleep all night. I talked to my brother and sister. They are so scared,” said Tanya Vlasenko, 48, of Vancouver, Wash. “There is nothing we can do, only pray,” she said, weeping.

Vancouver and nearby Portland, Ore., are home to more than 20,000 Slavic Christians. Most of them are Ukrainians who began settling in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s with refugee status, after fleeing religious persecution. They have erected dozens of churches that are the center of community life.

At First Slavic Evangelical Baptist Church, where Ms. Vlasenko’s family worships, the pastor has been leading congregants in prayer since Russian military action in Ukraine became a possibility.

Salah Ansary, senior district director for Lutheran Community Services Northwest, a refugee resettlement agency, said anxious Ukrainian immigrants had been calling to ask how they could get their relatives out of the country.

“We don’t have good information to provide, or anything to offer that can give them any kind of comfort at this moment,” he said. “The situation is so fluid.”

Solomia Gura, 31, of Philadelphia, said it had become increasingly difficult to reach people in her home country who have taken refuge in bunkers.

“I am trying to check if everybody is alive, if no bomb hit them,” said Ms. Gura, whose mother and brother live outside Lviv, a city in western Ukraine that had not been spared from the Russian military incursion.

Ms. Gura said she planned to attend a rally for Ukraine on Friday in Philadelphia, where about 70,000 Ukrainians and Ukrainian Americans live.

“That’s as much we can do is show our support,” said Ms. Gura, her voice laden with exhaustion and tears.

Irena Mykyta, 60, an immigration lawyer in New York, said that, like her relatives and friends in Ukraine, she was incredulous her home country was under attack.

“I feel useless and guilty that I am a Ukrainian here,” said Ms. Mykyta, who has lived in the United States for 26 years and is a naturalized citizen. “Ukraine is helpless and we are helpless here.”

Russian forces are meeting more resistance near Kyiv and Kharkiv than farther south, analysts say.

Ukrainian soldiers next to a destroyed armored vehicle, which they said belonged to Russian forces, near Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, on Thursday.Credit...Maksim Levin/Reuters
Ukrainian soldiers next to a destroyed armored vehicle, which they said belonged to Russian forces, near Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, on Thursday.Credit…Maksim Levin/Reuters

Independent security analysts said Russian forces in the east and the south of Ukraine were maneuvering with less resistance than those forces that were farther north and approaching the cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv, where the attacks were less sophisticated and the Ukrainian military had succeeded in engaging Moscow’s army.

Russian military units are attempting to encircle the capital, Kyiv, at least initially, and drive into Kharkiv, said Frederick W. Kagan, the director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute.

Those Russian forces have encountered stiffer resistance than they expected.

A report from Janes, the defense intelligence firm, found that Russian forces crossing the border near Kharkiv “appear to have become bogged down in heavy fighting.” Images from social media, the Janes report said, indicate that “some armored columns have been ambushed.”

The longer and better the Ukrainian forces fight, the more time Ukraine has to prepare insurgent operations and the more pain they can inflict on Moscow’s forces, Mr. Kagan said.

“We really have to consider the possibility that Putin expected the Ukrainians to fold and did not expect them to fight,” Mr. Kagan said, noting that the initial missile barrage on Ukraine had been limited to about 100 strikes.

Mr. Putin has done little to prepare the Russian public for a long fight, and the longer the Ukrainians hold on, the more they might be able to undermine the Russian president’s standing.

Still, Russian operations in eastern and southern Ukraine appeared to the independent analysts to be far more effective.

The best trained and most battle-ready forces of the Russian military were positioned outside Donbas, the southeastern region where Ukraine has fought Russian-backed separatists for eight years, according to George Barros, a researcher on the Russia team at the Institute for the Study of War.

Those more experienced forces, instead of a head-on confrontation with Ukrainian forces stationed on the front lines of the Donbas, attacked by maneuvering around the trenches and driving to the rear of the defensive positions. At the same time, forces in Crimea began moving north, spreading out in two directions.

“That will put them in the position of taking the Ukrainian defenders on the line of contact from the rear,” Mr. Kagan said. “That is a pretty well-designed operation.”

Those Russian forces could be trying to envelop and encircle the Ukrainian army in Donbas.

“If the Russians maneuver in such a way that those Ukrainian forces have to pull out of their defensive positions and then fight in the open significantly, that would reduce a material advantage that the Ukrainian defenders would have had if the Russians had conducted a frontal assault out of the occupied Donbas,” Mr. Kagan said.

In pictures: A capital under attack.

Ukrainian defense officials said Friday morning that multiple missile strikes had hit Kyiv, but the targets and the damage inflicted remained unclear. “They say that civilian objects are not a target for them,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said of the Russian assault. “It is a lie, they do not distinguish in which areas to operate.”

Ukrainian troops killed on Snake Island to be honored.

A small contingent of Ukrainian border guards defending Snake Island, a remote outpost in the Black Sea, were among the 137 civilians and military personnel killed in Thursday’s attacks, according to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

“All border guards died heroically but did not give up,” Mr. Zelensky said in a short video message posted just after midnight on Friday. He added that the guards would be posthumously awarded the title of “Hero of Ukraine.”

Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, is 30 miles off the coast of Ukraine and less than one-tenth of a square mile in area. The island grew in importance for Ukraine’s maritime territorial claims after nearby Crimea was seized by Russia in 2014.

In an audio clip circulating online, an approaching Russian warship ordered Ukrainian guards on the island to “lay down arms and surrender.” The guards on the island rejected the demand, using an expletive.

The Ukrainian ambassador to Japan, Sergiy Korsunsky, said in Tokyo on Friday that his country “would very much welcome if China will exercise its connection with Russia and talk to Putin and to explain to him, this is a kind of inappropriate in the 21st century to do this massacre in Europe.” Mr. Korsunsky noted that China was Ukraine’s largest trading partner, with China buying $17 billion in coal, food and other products last year.

The actor and filmmaker Sean Penn is in Kyiv to make a documentary about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a post released through the official Facebook account of Ukraine’s Office of the President. “Our country is grateful to him for such a show of courage and honesty,” the office said.

Mikhail Yurievich Galuzin, Russia’s ambassador to Japan, said there would be a “serious” response by Russia after Japan announced further sanctions earlier Friday, though he declined to specify any details. Japan’s sanctions, he said, were “counterproductive” and could potentially affect “our dialogue around a very very broad agenda” including any agreement on disputed islands that Russia calls the Southern Kuril Islands and Japan calls the Northern Territories.

Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ukrainian defense officials said Friday morning that multiple missile strikes had hit Kyiv, but the targets and the damage inflicted remained unclear. “The first days are the most difficult, because right now the enemy will feel it has the advantage, or will be broken physically and morally,” Hanna Malyar, the deputy defense minister, said before calling on people to join a general mobilization. “It is important that everyone is strong in spirit. This is our land. We will not hand it over.”

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, accused Russia of targeting civilian areas with rocket attacks on Friday morning, including in the capital, Kyiv. “They say that civilian objects are not a target for them,” he said in a televised address. “It is a lie, they do not distinguish in which areas to operate.” Zelensky said that “in most directions the enemy was stopped, the fighting continues. The purpose of this attack is pressure, not only on the government, but on all Ukrainians.”

As air raids blare in Lviv, anxiety builds.

LVIV, Ukraine — In Lviv on Friday, air-raid sirens sounded repeatedly, sending waves of anxiety through the city.

After a second alarm in the morning, the hotel staff at the Citadel Inn grew nervous. They said that there was a bomb shelter under the hotel, which started as an imposing and solid fort built in 1865 to look down over the city.

Staff and guests went outside first and talked nervously, then decided to go into the basement, hoping that walls that have stood for over 150 years would protect them from any Russian bombs.

A father ran back to his room to get blankets for his daughter. A woman carried a small dog.

The hotel is like a stone fortress. But many guests, including small children, were huddled in a tiny room in the basement.

Myanmar’s military junta backs Russia. Its shadow government disagrees.

Myanmar’s military junta expressed support on Friday for Russia’s attack on Ukraine, even as a group of officials from Myanmar’s shadow civilian government took the opposite position.

“Russia has done its part to maintain its sovereignty, and I think it is the right thing to do,” said Myanmar’s military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun.Credit...Thar Byaw/Reuters
“Russia has done its part to maintain its sovereignty, and I think it is the right thing to do,” said Myanmar’s military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun.Credit…Thar Byaw/Reuters

“In the case of Russia and Ukraine, Russia has done its part to maintain its sovereignty, and I think it is the right thing to do,” the spokesman for the junta, Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, told The New York Times by telephone. “Russia is also a big country among world powers and is showing that it also plays a main role in the balance sheet of maintaining world peace.”

Duwa Lashi La, the acting president of the National Unity Government in Myanmar, said on Twitter that those in the government “strongly condemn the unprovoked attack on Ukraine that undermines the UN charter and international law.”

“We pray for the people of Ukraine as they face catastrophic suffering from this unjustified invasion,” he wrote.

The National Unity Government is made up of a group of deposed officials who banded together after generals in Myanmar seized power in a coup in February 2021.

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IBPS Clerk Mains Result 2022 Declared, Sarkari Result 2022: This recruitment is to fill a total of 7885 Clerk vacancies in various…
WorldJustice

Russian invasion of Ukraine enters: what we know so far

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Russian invasion of Ukraine, Invading Russian forces have closed in on the Ukrainian capital after an apparently siege followed by airstrikes on…

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