DAY 13. Russians launch full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in unprovoked war (UPDATED)

8 March 2022, 10:43 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he was launching a military operation in Ukraine's Donbas region. In reality it was a full-scale invasion.

Ukraine's President Zelensky speaks in the UK Parliament (14:30)

UPDATE (1858): The United States and the United Kingdom have imposed ban on Russian oil purchases.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the UK Parliament. In his speech, Zelensky gain called for help in protecting Ukraine's skies from Russian missiles, which have been targeting schools, hospitals, residential districts and even churches.

Video of day

Meanwhile active fighting has continued in the north of Kyiv, and around Kharkiv and Mariupol, as well as close to Mykolaiv. Invading Russian troops have effectively been holding ordinary Ukrainians hostage in the towns they have occupied by not allowing Ukrainian government even to deliver humanitarian aid to the cities, the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported in a Facebook post.

"To re-enforce their forces fighting in Ukraine, the Russians have been conducting a hidden mobilization and have also contracted more than 1,000 mercenaries from the Liga private military company, formerly known as PMC Wagner," the Ukrainian Armed Forces message reads.

Residents of Sumy waiting for evacuation on March 8. (Фото: Courtesy)
Residents of Sumy waiting for evacuation on March 8. / Photo: Courtesy

UPDATE (1611): The evacuation from Sumy is ongoing, Sumy Oblast Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskiy has said in a statement.  Residents of Sumy have been evacuating from the city by private vehicles and by buses. Red Cross vehicles escort the columns through the green corridor leading to Romny and Poltava.  Various embassies have provided more than 30 buses to evacuate more than 1,700 foreign students studying in Sumy. However, Sumy Governor Zhyvytsky said that the authorities prioritize women and children over men during the evacuation.  Zhyvytsky has also said there are no green corridors from other cities and towns of Sumy Oblast. As of today, evacuation is only possible from Sumy.

Meanwhile, in Mariupol, Russian troops tried to breach the defenses of the city even as locals were trying to evacuate through the green corridor, Mariupol City Council reported via its Telegram channel. More than 500,000 residents of Mariupol remain hostages of the Russian  occupiers, forced to live without electricity, heating and water. A six-year-old girl has died of dehydration because of the Russian blockade, local media report.

In Kharkiv Oblast, invading Russian troops destroyed the central hospital in the town of Izum.

Residents of Oleshky, Kherson and other Ukrainian cities and towns continue peaceful protests against the Russian occupation.

UPDATE (1045): Ukraine and Russia have agreed to provide a humanitarian corridor for the residents of Sumy, a city in north-eastern Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the Ukraine's President Office Head, has said in a statement.

Ukraine Reintegration Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video statement that the occupants have already prepared to sabotage the evacuation process. "They might start messing up routes and try to turn the evacuation columns the other way. Don't follow, this is dangerous," Vereshchuk has said.

In the night before the evacuation was planned Russians shelled residential districts of Sumy, killing at least 18 people, including children, Ukraine's State Emergency Service has reported.

Mariupol City Council has reported on Telegram that the humanitarian aid column has departed from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov, that has been on the verge of the humanitarian catastrophe for more than 10 day. On March 7 Mariupol city

Overnight Ukrainian Air Defense systems have shot down two fighter jets near Kyiv, Ukraine's Army Commander in Chief Valery Zaluzhny said in a Facebook statement.  And near Obukhiv, a town in Kyiv Oblast Ukrainian pilot has downed a Russian cruise missile heading to Kyiv. He shot the missile down from the air.

In Zhytomyr Russians shelled an oil depot causing fire.

Meanwhile Oleksandr Markushyn, the mayor of Irpin has said in a Facebook statement the occupants, who are currently controlling some 30 percent of Irpyn, has started sending death threats to him, demanding to give them control over the town.

A woman in Mariupol cooks dinner on an open fire near her house, destroyed by Russian shelling. Mariupol City Council said on March 7 that the city has no electricity and gas, so locals have to cook food on the streets. (Фото: Azov)
A woman in Mariupol cooks dinner on an open fire near her house, destroyed by Russian shelling. Mariupol City Council said on March 7 that the city has no electricity and gas, so locals have to cook food on the streets. / Photo: Azov


UPDATE (2006): Third round of Russo-Ukrainian negotiations in Belarus is over, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the Ukraine's President Office Head said in a video statement on March 7.

"We got some positive results on the logistics of the humanitarian corridors. The logistics would be changed to make sure the people in need would get help," Podolyak said.

"As for the key points, such as ceasfire, end of the war the sides would continue intensive consultations. As of today we have not achieved any significant progress in that direction," he added.

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UPDATE( 1833): Russian occupants shelled a non-operational bread factory in Makariv Village of Kyiv Oblast, killing 13 civilians.

In Myla Village of Kyiv Oblast Ramzan Kadyrov's mercenaries have been shelling civilian houses, Ukraine's Army General Staff has reported. In Zaporizhzhia the Chechen gangs have destroyed the vehicle of Ukrainian post office that was delivering pensions to the elderly, killing two postmen.

According to Ukrainian Army, Russians are regrouping and planning to intensify aviation bombimg of civilian areas.

In occupied Melitopol, where locals have been protesting against Russian invaders for several days in a row, Russians seized TV tower and have been controlling local radio stations too, Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said in a video statement on Facebook on March 7.

Fedorov has also said Russians have destroyed more than 90 houses in Melitopol. He also said humanitarian aid has been delivered to the city - 520 packeges were given to the citizens in need.

UPDATE (1642): Residents of Melitopol, Henichesk, Chaplynka and other towns and cities, occupied by Russian invaders continue to protest against Russia. On March 6 Russians opened fire against civilians in Melitopol, wounding 7 unarmed civilians.

Ukraine's Army General Staff has reported Russians are going to attack Vyshhorod, a city in the north of Kyiv, where Kyiv Dam and Hydroelectric Plant are located.

Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko has said that Russians have been destroying towns in Kyiv Oblast with anger.

The situation in Kyiv Oblast is close to humanitarian catastrophe. National Police has reported heavy fights are going on in Bucha, Dmytrivtsi, Fastiv, Yasnohorodka. The authorities have started evacuation of Vyshgorod residents. Situation in Boryspil, Bila Tserkva, Obukhiv is under Ukrainian control.

In Mykolaiv Ukrainian forces seized third Russian Pansir Missile System, Mykolaiv Governor Vitaly Kim has reported via Telegram.

National Police of Ukraine has reported that today Ukrainian authorities have managed to evacuate 2000 residents of Irpyn.

Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has reported it got more than 20,000 applications to join the Ukrainian international legion from different foreign nationals.

UPDATE(1626): Russo-Ukrainian negotiations are going to start very soon, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukraine's President's Office head has said in a statement.

Podolyak has also said in a tweet that as of March 7 Russians have destroyed or damaged 202 schools, 34 hospitals, more than 1500 residential buildings all over Ukraine. Russian forces have left the residents of more than 900 villages and towns without heating, water and electricity.

UPDATE(1412): Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu has said in a statement that Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will soon meet in Ankara.

Meanwhile Ukrainian army has taken back control over Mykolaiv International Airport, Vitaly Kim, Mykolaiv Governor has reported.

UPDATE(1329): Ukraine's delegation is heading to the third round of negotiations with Russia that are about to start at 4 p.m. Kyiv time.

Kremlin's spokesperson Dmitrii Peskov has said Russia can stop "the operation" at any time if Ukraine fulfills all Russia's demands: lays down weapon, recognizes Crimea as a part of Russian territory and recognizes Russian proxy republics of Donbas as independent states.

Peskov has also said Ukraine must refuse to join NATO and any other political block and change the country's constitution accordingly.

UPDATE(1024): Overnight heavy fights continued in Kyiv Oblast Irpyn, Hostomel, Bucha.  

Ukrainian Armed Forces have reported Russians in Hostomel have killed local mayor Yuriy Prylypko and two local volunteers, who were giving locals in the occupied Hostomel bread and medicine.

Overnight Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian fighter jet in Kharkiv. The pilot survived and during the video questioning told Ukrainian servicement that it was Russian Army General Oleg Moravitskiy, who was giving orders to bomb civilian areas of Kharkiv. Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venedictova has said in a Facebook statement that Moravitskiy was born in Kharkiv Oblast.

Russians used heavy multiple rocket launchers Smerch against the residential districts of Mykolaiv, causing multiply fires.

National Guard of Ukraine's Azov regiment has reported Mariupol has been on the verge of starvation. Russians surrounded the city, yet they haven't managed to enter the city.

In the morning Russian Defense Ministry has spread the news that Russian army is going to provide ceasfire and open humanitarian corridors from Kyiv, Sumy Kharkiv and Mariupol, but only to the direction of Belarus and Russian Federation.

Iryna Vershchuk, Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister, said at a briefing on March 7 that the routes Russia has offered to Ukraine, are unacceptable as the Ukrainian citizens won't go to the aggressor coutries of Belarus and Russia. Instead, Ukraine offered another routes from the surrounded cities leading to Kyiv and western Ukraine.

In Kherson Oblast Ukrainian Army attacked Chornobaivka Airport, where Russians based more than 30 helicopters and many armoured vehicles.

Overnight Ukrainian army has taken back control over Chuhuiv, a town in Kharkiv Oblast, where a military airfield is located.


UPDATE( 1716): Russian troops shelled residential buildings in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast. At least two people died, dozens were wounded, Ukrainska Pravda has reported.

Ukrainian Army starts using seized Russian armoured vehicles and missile systems to fight Russians.

Right after Nova Kakhovka, residents of the Russian-occupied Genishesk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, also went to protest against Russians.

In Irpyn Russians started looting the local shops, locals report via Telegram.

UPDATE(1640): Mariupol city council has reported evacuation buses haven't managed to drive people out the beseiged city as Russians started shelling again. 

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kireev has reported via Telegram channel that the busses from Zaporizhzha, carrying humanitarian aid for the city hasn't gotten to Mariupol yet too.

More than 200,000 residents are waiting for green corridor from Mariupol.

Currently the city has no heating, electricity, water and food supplies.

Kyiv is surrounded by Russian troops and Russian-made humanitarian catastrophe. Kyiv Oblast authorities have reported they were forced to switch off gas supplies to Irpyn, a town some 26 kilometers of Kyiv. In the nearby Romanivka Russians have started shelling evacuation routes, killing at least two children.

Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko has said in a statement that the enemy is getting really close to the Ukrainian capital. Yet Kyiv is ready to meet the Russians.

UPDATE(1432): Eight Russian missiles strike Vinnytsia, Zelensky said in a statement. "Vinnytsia airport was cynically destroyed. Completely destroyed," Zelensky said. "The Russians have been destroying our lives, everything our generations have built."

Zelensky once again called Western countries to close the sky over Ukraine. "We are people. And it is your humanitarian duty to protect people. You can do it. If you don't do that, iif you don't even give us fighter jets so we could effectively protect ourselves, I can make only one conclusion, you also want Russia to destroy and kill us slowly. From now on you also bare responsibility for all what's going on here," Zelensky said.

Meanwhile Russians keep shelling Irpin, a town in Kyiv Oblast. Evacuation has been going on there under constant shelling. Several children had already died under shelling as of today, Radio Liberty has reported from the scene.

UPDATE(1322): Russians are planning to drop bombs on Odesa, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video statement on March 6, calling it a historical crime.

He called on Russians to remember they were always welcomed by Odesa residents.

"You always felt warm in Odesa. And what do you give in return to Odesa now? Bombs? Missiles? This will be a war crime, historical crime," Zelensky said.

Protest in Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast on March 6

UPDATE(1020): Mariupol city council has reported via Telegram messanger that at noon it will start the evacuation of civilians from the city, surrounded by Russians. Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kireev has stated Russians aggreed to organize ceasfire in the evacuation routes areas from 10 a.m to 9 p.m. Mariupol city authorities have reported civilians should gather at three addresses in the city, from where they will be taken in the direction to Zaporizhzhia.

And the first humanitarian aid convoy has departed from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol.

Meanwhile Russians keep attacking Ukraine's cities in towns.  In Irpin and Bucha, towns in Kyiv Oblast, Russians keep shelling civilian areas. People have to stay there without mobile connection, electricity, food and water.

Ukrainian authorities have been trying to evacuate civilians by buses after Russian army shelled railroads on March 5. At 10-45 a.m. Russians opened fire against the evacuation columns near Irpyn, Radio Liberty has reported.

In Zhytomyr Oblast Russian shelling has destroyed more than 15 private mansions.

Russian missile strike in Khmelnytskiy Oblast has wounded three civilians.

Ukrainian Army General Stuff has reported Russians have been consentrating their forces to attack Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv. Several columns have been trying to breach Ukrainian defence in Cherkasy Oblast, central Ukraine. Kaniv Hydroelectric Plant and the nearby dam can become the new strategic targets of the Russian invaders.

"The enemy's main targets are still Kyiv, Odesa, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Mykolaiv, Odesa and other key cities," Oleksiy Danilov, State Security and Defense Council Secretary said in a Facebook post on March 6.  "The key tactics is to surround those cities and cause a humanitarian catastrophe there."

Ukrainians continue to protest against Russians in the occupied towns and cities of the Ukrainian south. On March 6 residents of the occupied Nova Kakhovka went on a protest.

In Mykolaiv Ukrainian army has destroyed the column of soldiers they thought were Russians. However, as Mykolaiv Mayor Vitaly Kim has reported via Telegram, later it emerged most of them were former Ukrainian law enforcers who betrayed Ukraine and defected to Russia.

Russians have been trying to advance towards Mykolaiv to seize the nearby Yuzhno-Ukrainiska Nuclear Power Plant, Olexiy Arestovitch, Ukraine's President Zelensky's advisor said in a statement.

In Kyiv Oblast Russians partially occupied Bucha and Hostomel, they do not let civilians to leave the occupied areas, Arestovich said.


UPDATE (1908): The third round of Russian-Ukrainian talks will happen on Monday, David Arakhamia, Servant of the People faction head and the Ukrainian delegate during the negotiations said in a message on Facebook. 

Enerhordar City Council has stated that Zaporizhzhia Oblast governor's information that Russian forces have left the city, is unfortunately false. Russian soldiers are still controlling the outskirts of the city, as well as Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

UPDATE(1825): Russian Defense Ministry has announced it will renew the full offence against Ukraine "due to Ukraine's unwillingless to influence the nationalists". 

Mayor of Mykolaiv Vitaly Kim has reported that Russians have sent TU-22 bombers to the city that has earlier today defeated Russian troops trying to seize it.

Russian invaders have left the city Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast Governor Oleksandr Starukh has said in a video statement. He claimed Russian soldiers have looted the city. The situation on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is still unknown.

UPDATE(1741): In a conversation with Aeroflot Russian Air carrier staff Kremlin's leader Vladimir Putin has said Russian soldiers fight in Ukraine for the future of Russia. Putin also claimed Russians have destroyed most of Ukraine's Air Defense systems.

Meanwhile in Mykolaiv Ukrainian air forces shot down four helicopters and a fighter jet. The Ukrainian forces have seized Russian armoured vehicles in Mykolaiv and detained two Russian pilots. In Chernihiv Ukrainian fighters shot down Russian fighter jet that was bombing residential districts of Chernihiv. The pilot, Oleksandr Krasnoyartsev, who survived the downing, took part in bombing of Syria. Later Ukrainian military published the questioning of Krasnoyartsev.  He admitted he had been bombing residential districts of Chernihiv.

Another Russian bomber was shot down in Odesa.

Ukrainians in Kherson, Melitopol, Nova Kahkovka, Prymorsk and other Ukrainian towns, occupied by Russians, went on the streets to protest against the invaders. In many places Russians met them shooting in the air or in the ground near the unarmed civilians.

UPDATE (1720): Russians blew up railroads in Irpyn, a town in Kyiv Oblast. The invaders have also shelled evacuation train, Irpyn Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn has reported on Facebook. Fortunatelly the train was empty. Kyiv Oblast authorities have been trying to evacuate people from Kyiv Oblast by buses. Residents of Irpyn, Bucha and other towns and villages in Kyiv Oblast, are trying to get to Kyiv.

Evacuation train shelled in Kyiv Oblast, near Irpyn (Фото: Ukrzaliznytsia)
Evacuation train shelled in Kyiv Oblast, near Irpyn / Photo: Ukrzaliznytsia

UPDATE(1500):  Evacuation from Mariupol failed as Russians started shelling the city and evacuation routes from the Ukrainian port city on the Azov Sea, Vadym Boychenko, the mayor of Mariupol has sai in a statement. Soon after that Russians started shelling another agreed humanitarian corridor from Volnovakha, Donetsk Oblast. However, soon Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the Ukrainian authorities have managed to evacuate 400 residents of Volnovakha. "Those were mostly people, who have managed to get to the nearby village near Volnovakha and got into the evacuation transport, that was unable to get closer to Volnovakha due to heavy shelling," Kyrylenko wrote in his Telegram messanger channel.

UPDATE (1138):  In a new video statement published on March 5 Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Ukrainians have managed to push Russia to return at least 1 percent of humanity to the war it started in Ukraine.

Ukrainian humanitarian aid is on its way to the surrounded cities of Donetsk Oblast. Soon people will be able to leave the seized cities."I admire every Ukrainian in the occupied cities. Every Ukrainian who protests, who takes the national flag and shows the Russian military that they are losing. They must lose, because it is impossible to win over people who stop military equipment without weapons in their hands," Zelensky said. "I admire those people, who refuse to take anything from hands of the occupiers.

It is difficult, dangerous, but they do not lose dignity."Zelensky said that mostly women, children and elderly should evacuate from the surrounded cities. The rest should stay. "We are also bringing food and other supplies for those, who decided to stay.  Everyone who can defend their city must fight. Should. Because if everyone leaves, then whose city will it be?" Zelensky said.

UPDATE( 1040): Humanitarian corridors to open in Mariupol and Volnovakha, Donetsk Oblast, Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the Ukrainian President's Office head, said in a Twitter.

Russia and Ukraine has agreed to organize ceasfire from 9 a.m till 4 p.m in the areas, where Ukrainian authorities organize evacuation routes for civilians, who have been trapped in the surrounded localities for 10 days without food, water and electricity.

Meanwile in Kherson Ukrainians continue to protest against the Russian occupants. Ukrainian Telegram channels spread videos of the pro-Ukrainian rally in Kherson, attened by several hundreds of people.

Kherson Governor Hennadiy Lahuta has refuted information about 11 Ukrainian women allegedly being raped by the Russian occupants. "Kherson doctors haven't report any women coming to the hospitals, claiming they were raped," Lahuta said.

Kherson Oblast Council has reported shortages of food and medicine supplies. However, Russian occupants so far had not agreed to organize the humanitarian corridor from Kherson. They have brought their own humanitarian aid to the occupied city instead. Most locals, reportedly, had refused to take the aid from Russia so far.

Russia has promised to stop heavy shellig during the organization of the humanitarian corridors. However, from early morning shelling has been reported in Sumy and in Bila Tserkva.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a Twitter statement that as of March 5 more than 66,000 Ukrainian men have returned to Ukraine from abroad to defend the country from Russia.

Ukrainian goverment has also launched website where foreigners, who are willing to join Ukraine's fight against Russia, can find all the information they need to do it.


UPDATE(2034):  Russian regulator Roskomnadzor has banned Facebook in Russia. 

Meanwile International Atomic Energy Agency will travel to Ukraine to inspect the situation on two nuclear power plants occupied by Russian soldiers. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has expressed readiness to visit both Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and Zaporizhzia Nuclear Power Plant.

Heavy fights have been going on in Kyiv Oblast. Hostomel, Dymer, Bucha, Borodyanka and Irpin are at the epicenter of heavy fighting. Locals there have to stay in the basement with no water, electricity and hot water.

Residents of Mariupol, some 700 kilometes south east of Kyiv have been in the same situation. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko has called for help as Russian troops are blockading Ukraine's port city at the Sea of Azov.

UPDATE(1924): United Nations has recorderded more than 1000 civilian casualties caused by Russian invasion of Ukraine in the period of Feb. 24-March 3, reads the official message UNHR Ukraine published on Twitter on March 4. 

UPDATE (1819): First Russian general killed in Russia's war against Ukraine, Defense Minister Olexii Reznikov has said in a Facebook message.

"More than 10,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine as of 8 days of war. We've confirmed the extermination of at least one Russian Army general," Reznikov wrote.

According to data from the Russian Federation, the Ukrainian military eliminated the deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District of Russia, Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky.

UPDATE (1748): Russians have admitted their army has been baring significant losses in Ukraine. 

Russian Senator Lyudmila Narusova at a meeting of the Russian Federation Council recognized the huge losses of the Russian army in Ukraine.

“Yesterday, conscripts were withdrawn from the war zone in Ukraine, who were forced to sign a contract or had their military contract signed for them. But only in the end, out of a company of a hundred people, four remained alive, ”she said.

Ukrainian Army General Staff has reported more than 9000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine during 9 days of war. However, Russian Defense Ministry has previously admitted only 450 Russian military casualties in Ukraine.

Meanwhile Mariupol and Mykolaiv has been asking the Ukrainian Army to send backup. Heavy fights have been going on in both southern port cities. In Mykolaiv, Ukrainian forces have managed to take control over the local airport and squeezed the Russians out of the city for now.

UPDATE (1714): Sergii Nykyforov, President Zelensky's spokesperson has stated a missile debris landed in the yard of the Presidential manasion in Kyiv Oblast.

"They've missed the target," Zelensky said on that.

UPDATE (1649): Ukraine's State Special Connection Service has reported Russians have started spreading fake news about Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky fleeing the country. Russians have been spreading the news mostly on occupied territories. Ukrainian authorities have said Zelensky is in Kyiv and urged the Ukrainians not to believe Russian fake news.

Earlier The Times has reported Zelensky has already survived three assasination attempts in a week.

UPDATE(1622): Ukraine's Health Ministry has reported on its website that radiation levels in Ukraine are within the norm, after the overnight attack of Russian forces on the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar.

Although Russia keeps claiming it has no intentions to occupy Ukraine, Russian forces have seized two nuclear power plants in Ukraine, increasing the danger of nuclear fall out - Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine and ZNPP in southern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has claimed Ukraine aims to restore its nuclear arsenal. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called his claims a lie.

UPDATE(1602): Ukraine's government has called Red Cross to oranize humanitarian corridors for Mariupol, Kherson and other cities and towns of Ukraine, occupied by the Ukrainian Army. Mariupol has been under constant shelling by Russians for fourth day in a row, city authorities have reported in Facebook. There's almost no food, electricity and water left. The city is still resisting, yet it is surrounded by owerwhelming Russian forces. People are wating for green corridor.

In Kherson Russian occupants have disabled Ukrainian mobile operators Vodafone and Kyivstart. Russians have been preparing to film propaganda videos in the occupied Melitopol and Kherson, to show that Ukrainians are happy to see Russian troops in their cities, Ukraine's State Special Connection Service has reported via Telegram messanger. Yet dozens of residents of Melitopol and Kherson went to the streets of the occupied cities to protest against Russia.

Russians have seized TV towers in Melitopol and Kherson and restarted the broadcasting of the Russian propagandistic TV.

UPDATE (1124): Overnight, Russian forces stormed the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, starting fire on the territory of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. For hours, Russian soldiers prevented Ukrainian servicemen from out the fire. Finally, at 6 am, Russian invaders let Ukrainian firefighters  extinguish the fire on the territory of the Nuclear Power Plant, Ukrainian state energy company Energoatom reported.

Energoatom added that three Ukrainian servicemen died in defense of the planet, and two were heavily wounded. No casualties among civilians were reported.

As of now, Russians have completely taken the control over the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Ukrainian authorities have reported no spikes in radiation so far. Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk called the overnight seizure of the ZNPP an act of nuclear terrorism, in a video statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has initiated numerous calls with Western leaders, asking them to close the skies over Ukraine. So far, he has not had any success.

Russian invaders have entered Mykolaiv.

In Kherson, they seized a TV station belonging to the Ukrainian public broadcaster and are planning to spread propaganda from there, Zelensky said in a statement on March 4.

"They want to show that people are happy that the Russians haveoccupied the city. Please show them you are not. They are only temporarily in Kherson. Ukraine won't leave you," Zelensky told Kherson residents.


UPDATE (1912): The second round of Russia-Ukraine negotiations is over.  Ukraine's President's Office Head Advisor Mykhailo Podoliyak told journalists that Ukrainians haven't got what they expected. However, the sides have aggreed to work together on humanitatian issues.

"The sides have reached an aggreement on the organization of the humanitarian corridors for evacuations of civilians and the delivery of goods and medicines to the zones that are close to the humanitarian disaster," Podolyak said. "We have also achieved the ceasfire aggreement, but only temporary one and only in the zones of humanitarian corridors and only during the deliver of food and medicine or during the evacuation of civilians."

Podolyak said that the sides have aggreed to create special communication channels to coordinate on humanitarian corridors and will meet for the third round of negotiations in the near future.

Ukrainian authorities have reported Russians have renewed their attempts to enter Enerhodar, a town in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, where the biggest nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is located. Locals, together with the territorial defense forces and Ukrainian servicemen, have been blocking the Russian tanks for two days. However, the local authorities have reported Russians opened fire against civilians and soon after that the Russian tanks have entered the city.

Heavy fights have been going on in Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and many other Ukrainian towns and villages. More than 33 people died in Chernihiv after the Russian airstrike hit several residential buildings. In Kyiv Oblast a town Bucha was almost destroyed by shelling.

United Nations reported 1 million Ukrainians have fled the country during first week of Russian aggression.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky had an honest and emotional conversation with foreign media in the Presidential Office.

Here are his main points: 

About the Russian Army: "Russian army is much bigger. No one counts how many(Russian soldiers) die in this war. Russian military commanders are not going to show the bodies of those soldiers to their mothers. They are meat."

"The end of the world has already happened If we would not stop him (Putin)."

To Putin: "You are not a monarch. You were chosen by your people, so you are a manager a CEO of the country. CEO, not a tyrant, not a furher."

"What do you want from us? Get out of our land. If you don't want to leave, sit at the negotiations table with me. I am free. Sit with me, but not in 30 meters from me like you sit with Macron or other leaders. I am your neighbor. I won't bite you. I am a normal guy. Speak with me, what are you afraid of?"

About Ukraine: "I don't know how much we can hold. We don't count the time. We are just doing our jobs. We are protecting our lives, our freedom."

About fear for his life: "As every other human being of course I am afraid for my life and for life of my loved ones. But as a president I can't afford to be scared. For me it is even scarier to lose my country."

What the world can do: "If you don't protect your unions, they would dissapear. If you don't stand firm against the aggressor. You have to be so strong, you can decide conflicts not by war. Their alliances have weaknesses. Look at what happened with Nord Stream-2. We've warned you about the gas prices, about the danger of this energy weapon.

If Ukraine doesn't stop all of this... I appreaciate all your help. But it has come too late. So many lives have been lost.  If Ukraine falls, remember my words... Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, Poland would be next. The Russians will go as far as to the Berlin Wall."

"The most important thing world can do is to impose no flight zone over Ukraine. Missiles and jet fighters flying from Belarus and Russia have been killing our people from the sky. Tell me how many people have to die for you to close the sky. We will wait until that moment. This is the same thing that happened with sanctions. I asked to impose sanctions before the attack. But we all know what happened. Now with the closed sky we see the same dragging. If you can't close the sky, give me fighter jets, so I could protect my land from them."

"The world community is stronger than Putin's soldiers. But it has started acting on Ukraine too late."

"No one has expected in the 21 century a man can behave like a beast."

 UPDATE (1555):  Russian-Ukrainian negotiations have started in an undisclosed location somewhere near the Belarusian-Polish border. Ukraine’s delegation representative David Arakhamia, the head of the Servant of the People party, has said “humanitarian corridors” would be the plan minimum Ukraine’s side want to get from Russia.

The Russian military leadership has conducted mobilization in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and is forming units 1 and 2 of the army corps to assault cities and towns in Ukraine-controlled territory.

This is another proof of the complete subordination of the 1st and 2nd Army Corps to the 8th Army of the RF Armed Forces, General Staff of the Ukrainian Army has reported.Heavy shelling goes on in Kharkiv and Mariupol. Ukrainian Army claims both cities have been holding against the enemy. But in Kharkiv Oblast Russians have destroyed more than 30 houses in the local villages.

Russians have been deploying military reserves closer to Kyiv.Security Service of Ukraine has reported; Russians have been allegedly preparing a false flag operation near the Ukrainian Russian border, where they have set up Grad missile systems aiming them on the Russian territory.In Odessa Port Russians sank the civil cargo vessel under the flag of Panama.

It is impossible to conduct rescue operation and safe the crew, Ukraine’s Interior Minister’s advisor Anton Gerashchenko has said in a Telegram messenger.

In Kherson Russians raised Russian flag over the city administration, although Russian government has been stating it has no intention to occupy Ukraine, Kherson city council has reported.

UPDATE (1327): Overnight, Russians shelled the town of Izyum  in Kharkiv Oblast.

Russian shelling targeted Uspenskyi Cathedral in Kharkiv, one of the oldest Orthodox Christian churches in the city, where people were sheltering from air raids, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a morning statement on March 3.

Four loud blasts were heard in Kyiv. Ukrainian authorities have reported that Ukraine’s air defense systems intercepted three missiles heading to Kyiv.

In Kyiv Oblast, the Ukrainian army has raised Ukrainian flags in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

In Sumy Oblast, Ukrainian border guards, together with the Ukrainian Army, pushed the Russian Army back to the Russian border.

Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation has obtained secret Russian documents that prove Russians have been planning the military invasion in Ukraine at least since January. The documents were approved on Jan. 18. The operation was supposed to start on Feb. 20 and end on March 6, the documents read.

Ukrainian servicemen shot down two Russian fighter jets since morning – one near Volnovakha in Donetsk Oblast, and another one in Kyiv Oblast.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army has reported some 9,000 Russian soldiers have already died in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s key port city of Mariupol has been encircled by Russian military, the Mariupol City Council reported. One of the largest industrial cities in Ukraine has been left without electricity, food, and medical supplies.

UPDATE(2034): No more mercy. The Armed Forces of Ukraine Special Operations Unit has announced it will no longer take Russian artillerymen prisoners. In a chilling message to the Russians Ukrainian special forces have published on Facebook, they promised every artillery unit soldier would be "carved as a pig". "Congratulations, guys! After you showed no mercy, attacking our peaceful towns, killing our children and out loved ones, you have become our targets number one," the message reads. Ukrainian special forces claim that Russian artillerymen attack from a distance, they don't see their victims, they don't know then and don't care.  "But we already know who you are. We have full information on you. No more mercy. Call your mothers and tell you are going to die soon. We're coming, and we're worse than death."

Meanwhile, Ukrainian army has liberated Makariv village of Kyiv Oblast, and neutralized the landing party which tried to land near the city of Mykolayiv.

In Kyiv a Russian missile hit the underground walkway right next to the Pivdenny Railway Station, not far from the Central Railway Station of Kyiv, where thousands of people were waiting for evacuation trains. No casualties have been reported so far. The rocket hit the major heating pipe, Interior Minister's Advisor Anton Herashchenko has reported. Part of Kyiv might be left without central heating.

The Defense Ministry Of Ukraine has reported Russian occupying forces violate the norms of international humanitarian law by looting and killing local people, including children. The morale of the occupying army is extremely low.

During the current day, up to thirty fighter jets violated the airspace of Ukraine, mostly from the Republic of Belarus, and bombed the civilian population.

Ukraine's State Security and Defense Council of Ukraine has warned that Russians might use the deepfake technology to compose a fake video of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky allegedly announcing Ukraine surrenders to Russia. Ukrainian government urged Ukrainians not to believe if they see such video as Ukraine would never surrender.

Meanwhile Russia has finally admitted it has military loses in Ukraine. However, Russian MoD has reported about only 495 soldiers died. While Ukraine reports Russia has already lost more than 5000 servicemen in Ukraine.

UPDATE(1636): In Kyiv Oblast joint National Guard and Ukrainian Army squad has destroyed the SU-30 fighter jet.

Russians shelling Kharkiv again.

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has reported about numerous cases Ukrainians helped the Army to destroy Russian tank columns and other armored vehicles, by sending their GPS coordinates to the SBU security service of Ukraine. "As you can see, together we have been fighting the enemy quite successfully. The enemy expiriences losses of armory, vehicles and soldiers," General Staff press service has reported.

In Kyiv authorities have identified one of the victims of the Russian attack on Kyiv TV Tower on March 1 - a journalist, cameraman of the KyivLive TV channel Yevhen Sakun.

Russians entered Balakaleya town in Kharkiv Oblast. Mayor Ivan Stolbovyi has confirmed the town is seized, but said he will refuse to cooperate with the occupants, but will stay in Balakaleya.

Kherson has been surrounded by the enemy. Heavy fights are going on. Khersonn Mayor Ihor Kolykhayev urged the international community to press Russia to give a green corridor from the city to evacuate wounded and to deliver basic goods and medicine to the city.  The Mayor urged Red Cross to interfere. "Without you residents of Kherson face humanitarian disaster," Kolykhayev has said.

Russians have attacked two more TV towers in Ukraine. First the air strike hit the broadcasting tower in Lysychansk , Luhansk Oblast. In the evening the occupants targeted Kharkiv TV tower. Public broadcaster Supilne Kharkiv dissapeared from the air.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister has said volunteers from 16 countries are heading to Ukraine to join the fight against Russian invasion.

Meanwhile in Enerhodar, a town in Zaporizhzhia oblast, Russians have started shooting civilians, who were holding them from coming into town, where the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe is located, Ukraine's Interior Minister's Advisor Anton Herashchenko has reported.

Russian airstrike has destroyed Ukrainian checkpoint in Korosten, Zhytomyr Oblast. Five people died, National Police of Ukraine reported on March 2.

Ukrainian railways continue helping foreigners leave Ukraine. Thus, according to the United Nations, since February 22, almost 900,000 people have left Ukraine. More than 50,000 foreigners left by railway transport in 6 days, Ukrzaliznytsia has reported.

UPDATE (1344): Kyiv has managed to send humanitarian aid to Bucha, a town in Kyiv Oblast that has been in the center of heavy fighting for several days in a row.  "We sent medicine, food supplies to Bucha, a town that Russians have been trying to destroy for several days. We thank Internetional Red Cross for delivering the nessecary supplies to our people," Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko has said in a statement.

Meanwhile Russian forces have spread all over Kyiv Oblast.

Another ballistic missile hits Kharkiv's city center, near the Palace of Labor. Heavy shelling have been going on in Chernihiv.

Near the town of Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainian Army has gone into the offensive for the first time since the start of Russia's war against Ukraine.

UPDATE (1254): Kremlin wants negotiations.  Kremlin's spokersperson Dmitrii Peskov told Ria Novosti that Russian delegation would be waiting for Ukrainians "at place" in the evening on March 2.

"We are ready for second round of negotiations, but we won't accept any ultimatums," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said in a Facebook statement.

Viktor Yanukovych, pro-Russian puppet president who fled Ukraine to Russia after the EuroMaidan Revolution in 2014, has arrived in Minsk, Ukrainska Pravda news website has reported, citing its own sources in the Ukrainian intelligence. "The Kremlin prepares to declare him president of Ukraine in Minsk," Ukrainska Pravda sources have said.

UPDATE(1229):  Local residents of Enerhodar, in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, are attempting to stop invading Russian troops from taking over the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, reports Advisor to the Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko. He said Russian troops were approaching the nuclear power plant, which is the biggest in Europe.

Konotop, a town in Sumy Oblast, north-eastern Ukraine, has denied to surrender to the Russian occupants. Konotop Mayor Artem Smenykhyn said in a video statement that the Russians have set an ultimatum: If the locals would resist the occupation, Russian Army would start shelling the whole city using artillery. "I think we should still resist and fight. But I have to ask you, as the Russian artillery is aimed at all of us," Smenykhy has said, standing in front of Konotop residents. And the residents said they would stay and fight.

UPDATE (0942): Overnight heavy fighting continued in and around Mariupol, Kyiv, and Zhytomyr. In Kherson, invading Russian troops seized the river port and the train station.

Due to yesterday's attack on the main TV tower in Kyiv, the television broadcasting signal is unstable all across the country. Cable- and Internet-based television is still available.

Vadym Boychenko, the mayor of Mariupol, has appealed to the Ukrainian army, saying: "Russian missiles have been flattening our city for more than 12 hours. Please help us to defend the city."

In Donetsk Oblast, three civilians were reported to have been killed and 25 injured overnight. Invading Russian forces shelled residential buildings, two schools, utility companies, and a bakery, it was reported.


UPDATE (2046): Russians surround southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. City authorities have reported numerous casualties. Russian troops are blockading Kherson from all sides, not letting through humanitarian aid to the city.

Kherson has been holding out.

At the same time, the Russians  have renewed their shelling of Kharkiv in the east.  In the north, heavy fighting is going on in Chernihiv. Kyiv is preparing for the upcoming Russian assault. Territorial Defense forces have been fortifying the capital and reinforcing the Ukrainian Army.

The Interior Ministry of Ukraine reports that due to heavy fighting, more than 40,000 Ukrainians in the east have been left without electricity and food supplies. "The residents of Sartana, Volnovakha, and Talanivka are in the most difficult situation. Heavy fighting is going on there. The Russians are ignoring our call to provide evacuation corridors for civilians," Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy said in a statement.

 UPDATE (1750): Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky got a standing ovation after his speech to the European Parliament. The Ukrainian president, speaking via a video call, urged European officials to stand with Ukraine and to accept Ukraine into the EU.

He also emotionally addressed Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Sixteen children died yesterday. And President Putin will yet again say this is a special operation and that Russians are targeting the military infrastructure. So where are our children? On what military factories were they working? You've killed 16 kids!" Zelensky said.

UPDATE (1720):  Russia has attacked Kyiv's main broadcasting tower, Ukraine's Interior Ministry reported on a Telegram messenger channel. 

"Most of TV channels will be out of service for a while until we switch on alternative routes," the Interior Ministry said.

Earlier Oleksii Reznikov, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine said in a statement that Russia has been preparing psyops - spreading fake news about the Ukrainian Army and Ukrainian government surrendering to the Russians.

Kyiv's main TV tower is located right next to the Babyn Yar, ravine, where the Nazis killed more than 100,000 Jews in 1941.

Five people died and five were injured, State Emergency Service has reported.

Courtesy of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine
Photo: Courtesy of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine

UPDATE (1601): Kremlin news agency TASS reports that a second round of peace talks will be held on March 2. No confirmation as yet from Ukrainian officials. Earlier, a journalist with the Financial Times reported on Twitter that Russia's Defense Ministry said Russia was planning to attack "psyops" and communications targets in Kyiv, and that the ministry had warned people in the city living near these targets to leave their homes.

UPDATE (1512) Unconfirmed reports of Ukrainian missile strikes on airbase in Russia, at Taganrog: video of fire and a burning aircraft at the base is circulating on social media. Other unconfirmed reports on social media speak of a Ukrainian missile strike on a concentration of Russian troops at an airfield in Berdyansk, Donetsk Oblast, which had been occupied by invading Russian troops.

UPDATE (1245) Units of the Belarusian army have joined in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to a report by Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne. It reported that, according to Vitaliy Kyrylov, spokesman for the North Territorial Defense Forces, Belarusian forces had crossed the border into Ukraine in Cherhihv Oblast, to the north east of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

UPDATE (0645): Overnight, President Volodymyr Zelensky called for a total global boycott of Russian goods in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and attacks on civilians, the BBC reported.

U.S. satellite imagery firm Maxar Technologies said the Russian army column approaching the Ukrainian capital Kyiv from the West is now around 65 kilometers long. It contains tanks, armored fighting vehicles, artillery and logistical vehicles, and is around 30 kilometers from the center of Kyiv.

President Zelensky said Russian attacks on civilian areas of Ukraine's second biggest city, Kharkiv, in the east of the country, amounted to war crimes. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Karim Khan, has said he wants to open an investigation into possible war crimes committed in Ukraine since 2014. Ukraine is not a member of the ICC, but has granted jurisdiction to the court.

An artillery strike on a military unit in Okhtyrka in Sumby Oblast has killed up to 70 Ukrainian soldiers, the BBC reported. Local officials said rescuers and volunteers were working to retrieve bodies from the rubble of the building where the unit was housed.


UPDATE (1858): Negotiations near Prypiat River are over. The sides talked for more than five hours, Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the head of the President's Office, said in a statement.  "The Ukrainian and Russian delegations have ended the first round of negotiations. The main goal was to stop the war in Ukraine," Podolyak said. "We agreed on certain common points and now we have to return for consultations with our heads of states." The sides agreed to meet again soon on the Belarusian-Polish border.

The Russian representative in the negotiations, former culture minister Vladimir Medynskiy, confirmed that some progress had been made and now the sides have to discuss the results of the negotiations with their heads of states.

Both sides refused to reveal any details.

Right after the negotiations, Kyivans were asked to hide in shelters due to an air raid alert.

A huge blast was heard all over Kyiv right after that. Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko reported that at least one ballistic missile had hit the town of Brovary to the east of the city of Kyiv, in Kyiv Oblast. Brovary Mayor Ihor Sapozhko reported that people had been wounded.

President's Office of Ukraine
Photo: President's Office of Ukraine

UPDATE (1810): Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has officially signed a request for fast-track European Union membership for Ukraine. 

UPDATE (1720): Russia-Ukraine negotiations happening on the border with Belarus have entered a third round, Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the President's Office of Ukraine said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Mariupol reports civilian casualties after two days of Russian airstrikes on the city's left bank, Vadym Boychenko, the mayor of Mariupol, said in a Facebook message. The Ukrainian Army shot down one of the Russian fighter jets bombing civilian areas. Amid heavy fighting, the port city on the coast of the Sea of Azov has problems with electricity and hot water in several districts. Although today the authorities managed to get grain to the city and baked 10 tons of bread, Boychenko said.

At the same time Kharkiv has been under heavy shelling by Russian Grad missile systems for most of the day. Oleh Synegubov, Kharkiv Oblast's governor, reports in the Telegram messenger that the Russians have been attacking mostly residential areas of the predominantly Russian-speaking city. They are targeting districts with no critical or military infrastructure. "This is a war crime. They attack during the day, when people have to go to the pharmacy or to the store," Synegubov said.  He said that more than 11 civilians had died today in the city and that dozens are wounded. Due to heavy shelling rescuers can't get to the people in need, he said.

UPDATE (1430): Ukrainian border guards from Zmiiny (Snake) Island, who had been thought to be dead, are alive, the Ukrainian Navy reported in a Facebook message on Feb. 28. Ukrainian authorities said all 13 border guards had been killed after they completely lost communications with the island and the Russians seized it on Feb. 26.

"We are very happy that our combat friends are alive. But they are in captivity," the Ukrainian Navy said.

"Although Russian propaganda has been trying to spread fake news that Ukraine 'buried' and abandoned them, the propagandists forgot to say they have completely destroyed the infrastructure of the island and made it impossible to send backup due to constant shelling."

The navy added that it would do everything in its power to release the border guards from captivity.

UPDATE (1329): Chernihiv has been under constant shelling by the Russian Army since early morning. Three buildings have been destroyed, including a kindergarten, Ukraine's State Emergency Service reported in Telegram message. Overall, the State Emergency Service has put out seven fires in Chernihiv Oblast in the last 24 hours.

Kharkiv was attacked with Russian Grad missile systems at 1300.

Help is coming

Anna Malyar, deputy defense minister of Ukraine, has said that Ukraine intends to create an "International legion."

"We already have thousands of requests from foreign nationals who want to join the resistance to the Russian occupiers and protect world security from the Putin regime," Maylar wrote.

On Feb. 27, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that he would call on foreign nationals to join the fight for Ukraine.

UPDATE (1228): The negotiations near Prypiat have officially started.

Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine's Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories, told Ukrainian media she has no illusions about the negotiations at the Belarusian border, as neither Lukashenko nor Putin can be trusted after their attack on Ukraine.

"But those negotiations will give us time we really need right now," Vereshchuk said.

As soon as the negotiations began, the Russian side ordered that the live stream launched by Ukrainian side be switched off, Ukrayinska Pravda reported, providing video evidence of this.

Meanwhile, the Mariupol City Council has reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine, together with the National Guard of Ukraine and the Azov Regiment, had destroyed a Russian fighter jet that had fired four times on Feb. 27 at the village of Sartanu and the Left Bank district of Mariupol.

"Glory to our defenders! Glory to our heroes! Glory to Ukraine!" said the Mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boychenko.

Kyiv, Sumy, and Kharkiv continue to hold out amid growing Russian attacks. The first cases of looting were recorded in Zhytomyr and Kyiv.

"I want to warn everyone that looters will be punished under martial law rules - they will be immediately destroyed," Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said.

The Health Ministry of Ukraine on the fifth day of Russia's war published new data on civilian casualties : 352 people have been killed, 16 of them children. More than 2,000 people were wounded, 45 of them children.

UPDATE (1205) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged EU leaders to allow Ukraine to join the European Union immediately, using a new special procedure.
"For a long time we were told that Ukrainians are not right, we are not yet there. That we have to do a lot of homework (to join the EU)," Zelensky said in a video address on Feb. 28. "But now we have shown what we are actually capable of. And this is inspiring."

Zelensky said European leaders understood that Ukrainians have been fighting for the whole Europe - for peace on the European continent, for democracy and freedom. This gives Ukraine the right to ask to be immediately accepted to the European Union. "We are grateful for your support, but we really want to be together. I am confident it is fair, and we deserve it," Zelensky said.

He also announced that he had decided to pardon Ukrainian Army veterans sentenced for minor offences and let them redeem themselves by defending Ukraine.

UPDATE (0900): Ukraine is anxiously waiting for the results of negotiations with Russia that will start at approximately 1100. Overnight a Ukrainian delegation went to the border with Belarus, using the safest routes. David Arakhamia, the head of the Servant of the People Party faction, will represent Ukraine during the negotiations near the Prypiat River.

"The negotiations will either go in a direction that benefits Ukraine, or they will go the same way the Russian warship went," Arakhamia said in a Facebook message on Feb.25. He was citing the phrase "Russian warship, go f**ck yourself!" a Ukrainian border guard on Zmiiny Island said in response to an extermination threat from the Russian warship.

Apart from Arkahamia, the Ukrainian delegation consists of Ukrainian Defense Minister Olexiy Reznikov, Ukraine's President's Office advisor Mykhailo Podolyak, Andriy Kostin from the Trilateral Contact Group, and Crimean Tatar lawmaker Rustem Umerov, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Mykola Tochitsky is also attending the negotiations.

Overnight Russians continued to attack on all fronts. The Ukrainian Army regained control of Volnovakha, a town in Donetsk Oblast. Due to heavy fighting the town is on the verge of suffering a humanitarian catastrophe, with almost no food and water supplies left. The local authorities have reported the town has been almost destroyed.

Every day, thousands of Ukrainians are joining territorial defense forces all over Ukraine, Ukraine's Armed Forces Commander in Chief Valery Zaluzhny said in a Facebook post. In Kyiv Oblast locals are misdirecting and stopping Russian armored vehicle columns trying to get to Kyiv.

State-owned energy company Ukrhydroenergo has reported on Facebook that the Kakhovska Hydroelectric Power station in Kherson Oblast is back under the control of the Ukrainian army. However, the situation is still tense there, the company reports.

The legendary Ukrainian pilot "The Ghost of Kyiv" is alleged to have shot down a 10th Russian fighter jet since the start of the war on Feb. 24.

Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar reported that Russian army has already lost approximately 5,300 soldiers killed in Ukraine as of Feb. 28.


UPDATE (2300): Negotiations. The Ukrainska Pravda news website reports negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are set for early on the morning on Feb. 28. Servant of the People Party Head David Arakhamia has joined the Ukrainian delegation soon to meet the Russians near the Prypiat River.

"I will be honest with you, I don't believe this meeting will bring any results. But let them try," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, commenting on the negotiations.

Meanwhile, more than 70 percent of Ukrainians believe Ukraine could win the war against Russia, reads the latest poll by Rating Group sociological think tank published on Feb. 27. More than 90 percent of Ukrainians support President Zelensky, the poll reads.

UPDATE (2135):  While the Ukrainian delegation is reportedly approaching the site of the negotiations with Russia on Belarus-Ukraine border, the Ukrainian Land Forces report about more than 50 military aircraft concentrated near Machulyshchi and Baranovychi airports in Belarus. Belarussian commanders have put the military on high alert. Russia is reported to be using the banned methods of fighting: Russian forces seize objects of civil infrastructure, and attack Ukrainian military from behind wearing uniforms of Ukraine's National Police and Army.

In Kyiv Russian saboteurs seized three ambulances. Meanwhile media spread news that Kyiv was surrounded by Russian forces, citing Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko. He has debunked the news in his Telegram messenger channel. Kyiv is going to have another long and hard night, Klitschko said in an evening statement on Feb. 27.

"Our enemy is getting angry, shelling civilian houses, and destroying our infrastructure. However, our enemy has many losses, both vehicles and personnel. The Russians did not expect such a response and high morale from the Ukrainian people, both civil and military," Klitschko said.

Kyiv is receiving reinforcements. Territorial defense forces from western Ukraine are heading to the Ukrainian capital.

The Health Ministry of Ukraine has reported that as of Feb. 27 more than 352 civilians had died due to the Russian war against Ukraine, 14 of them children. More than 1684 civilians were wounded, 116 of them children.

Ukrainian government still does not disclose the casualties among Ukrainian military.

Russian forces occupied Ukraine's port city Berdyansk in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Heavy fighting has been going on in Nova Kakhovka in Kherson Oblast, where occupiers have been using Grad missile systems, heavily shelling the city.

Volnovakha, a town in Donetsk Oblast, is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, local authorities reported. Due to ongoing shelling and there being no humanitarian corridors, it is impossible to deliver food and water supplies to the town.

The Ukrainian Land Forces press service has reported Russian troops surrendering to Ukrainian forces all over the country.

UPDATE (1912) Media report huge explosion at airport in Zhytomyr, a city west of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Reported to be an Iskander ballistic missile fired from Belarusian territory. Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence reports Russian amphibious landing “30 miles (50 kilometers) south of the Ukrainian-held port city of Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast – 2,000 Russian marines said to be heading towards the city. At the same time, air raid sirens can be heard in Kyiv.

UPDATE (1835) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says EU airspace will be closed to Russian aircraft, including the “private jets of oligarchs.” Announces ban on Kremlin "harmful and toxic" propaganda outlets RT and Sputnik, and sanctions against Belarus, including those Belarusians helping the Russian war effort.  

UPDATE (1830) President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the nation, saying he wants nobody to doubt that he and the government are doing their best to preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Announces he wants to raise soldiers’ pay to UAH 100,000 ($3,500). Notes that Ukraine has lost its Mryia super cargo plane, but says it was old and that Ukraine is building a new one.

UPDATE (1700):  Russians destroy Ukraine's Mriya super-plane

During an airstrike on Hostomel Airport near Kyiv, Russian forces destroyed world's largest cargo plane, the ANN-225 "Mriya", Ukraine's Foreign Minister reported on Twitter on Feb. 27.  Mriya means dream in Ukrainian.

UPDATE (1540): Negotiations! After a call with Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to send a Ukrainian delegation to negotiate with Russia. The Ukrainian side still won't go to Belarus, as it is no longer a neutral country, Zelensky said.

"We agreed our delegation will meet the Russians without any prior conditions on the Belarusain-Ukrainian border near the Prypiat River," Zelensky said in a statement. "Lukashenko promised  that during negotiations not a single helicopter, fighter jet or a rocket would fly to Ukraine from the territory of Belarus."

Earlier Ukraine's government communications center Stratcom reported that units of the Belarusian special operations forces were boarding planes. An airborne landing is being prepared, and the landing locations were said to be Kyiv and Zhytomyr. Along with launches of missiles from Belarusian territory aimed at Ukraine, this is another sign that Belarus has entered the war against Ukraine on Russia's side. Ukrainian media earlier reported after the referendum on creation the union state with Russia, Belarus might join Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Meanwhile Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Synehubov has stated Kharkiv was again under total control of the Ukrainian Army. Together with territorial defense units and National Police, soldiers have been hunting down the remaining Russian saboteurs in the city.

Operational Command North has reported that the Ukrainian Army has destroyed a Russian tank column and the Russian soldiers inside.

Chechen saboteurs arrested in Kyiv (Фото: Anton Gerashchenko)
Chechen saboteurs arrested in Kyiv / Photo: Anton Gerashchenko

UPDATE (1400): The Ukrainian Army has taken back control of the town of Irpin in Kyiv Oblast, and has also destroyed Russian sabotage groups in Kharkiv. Ukraine's second-biggest city is under Ukrainian control and is being patrolled by law enforcement.

In Kyiv, Ukrainian special forces have partly destroyed and partly arrested a group of Chechen saboteurs that were moving through Ukrainian capital in an ambulance.

UPDATE (1300): Ukraine's SBU security service announced that they have obtained secret Russian war documents, detailing passwords and encryption schemes used by the invading forces. The documents contain information on Russian force deployments and names of commanders and units, as well as war plans and unit identification markers.

According to the Ministry of Defense, Ukrainian defenders have destroyed the following Russian equipment and forces:

  • Helicopters: 26
  • Tanks: 146
  • APCs: 706
  • Cannons: 49
  • BUK missile systems: 1
  • Grad rocket launchers: 4
  • Motor vehicles: 30
  • Cisterns 60
  • Drones: 2
  • Boats/cutters: 2
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Approximate enemy killed: 4,300 (updating)

Portions of the Russian force attacking Kharkiv have been eliminated, reports news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda.

An attack on the northern Kyiv suburb of Irpin, which is part of the same suburb as Bucha, has been repelled, says the mayor of Irpin.

UPDATE (1100): A firefight is ongoing in the northern Kyiv suburb of Bucha. According to the State Emergency Service, at least one nine-story residential complex has been attacked and is on fire in the suburb. A bridge leading to Kyiv has been blown up by Ukrainian forces to halt the Russian advance, says journalist Ilya Ponomarenko of the Kyiv Independent newspaper.

The Kyiv neighborhood of Troieshchyna, in northeastern Kyiv on the left bank, has been hit by a cruise missile. According to Interior Ministry advisor Vadym Denisenko, the missile was intercepted in flight and fell onto some parked cars, which have been burnt out as a result. Armed men have been reported by NV to be entering residential buildings in the neighborhood.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky has published a video address, directed towards the people of Belarus, asking them to recognize their own independence, separate from Russia, as Russian forces continue to use Belarus as a staging ground for attacks on Ukraine.

UPDATE (0900): Overnight, heavy fighting continued in Kyiv Oblast and in Kyiv, in Kharkiv and Sumy.

Russian shelling blew up the KLO Oil Terminals in Vasylkiv, a town in Kyiv Oblast to the south of Kyiv city. As of morning, firefighters have been unable to tackle the fire there due to heavy fighting. Residents of Kyiv Oblast were asked not to open their windows.

Numerous Russian sabotage groups are attacking the country's cities. In Kyiv, saboteurs targeted the Okhmadyt children's cancer hospital, wounding 4 people, and killing one child.

Early in the morning the Ukrainian air defense system shot down a cruise missile that was heading to Kyiv from Belarus, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko tweeted at 0919 on Feb. 27.

Russian forces have been actively attacking Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Sumy. Ukraine still controls the country's big cities. Russian forces have reportedly occupied the town of Nova Kahovka in Zaporizhizia Oblast. The town lies on the banks of the Dnipro River, at the start of a canal that supplies Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula with fresh water.

Ukraine blocked the canal shortly after Russia started to occupy Crimea.


UPDATE (2100): Russians intensify attacks in Chernihiv, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia Oblast and Mykolaiv. Kyiv freezes in fear of continuous air raid warnings.

Ukraine's Interior Ministry reports Russian troops are coming closer to Enerhodar, a town in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and the occupants have aimed their Grad missile systems at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

At the same time Ukrainians continue to repulse the aggressor on all fronts. Ukrainian mobile operators Life, Vodafone, and Kyivstar have blocked the cell phone connection to users from Russia and Belarus.

Meanwhile, ordinary Ukrainians were making and storing Molotov cocktails.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army has reported that during the last 24 hours Ukrainian forces have shot down five Russian fighter jets, 10 helicopters, two military cargo plains with paratroopers inside, and destroyed a number of armored vehicles. A Bayraktar drone destroyed a Russian fuel column.

Ukrainian servicemen have reportedly taken more than 200 Russians prisoners and revealed most of them were very young - born in 1999-2002.

In Sumy locals threw Molotov cocktails at Russian armored vehicles.

The National Police has reported numerous street fights with Russian saboteurs in Kyiv and other towns.

"Our army has been holding defenses on all parts of war front. The enemy was expecting a walk in a park, but got hell instead," Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during an evening briefing.

Russians have not achieved the blitzkrieg they expected, and that made them angry. So they started shelling residential buildings, Shmyhal said.

In Kherson, the Russians targeted an ambulance. The Ukrainian government has been working on providing enough fuel, food supplies and medical supplies to the army and civilians. It was also decided to simplify crossing of humanitarian aid across the border. All checkpoints with Russia and Belarus are closed.

UPDATE (1900): Return alive. Ukraine's Defense Ministry launched a special hotine "Return from Ukraine alive" for relatives of Russian soldiers who have been killed or taken prisoners in Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities made such decision after numerous very young Russian soldiers, captured by Ukrainians, said on video that they did not know they were coming to invade Ukraine.

Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks has offered political asylum in the West to all Russian soldiers who lay down their weapons and surrender to Ukrainians, the minister wrote on Twitter.

UPDATE (1720): Remove the road signs. Ukrainian government encouraged citizens to remove road and street signs. "We need to disorient the enemy to the maximum," the General Staff of Ukrainian Army said in a Facebook message.

Kyiv imposed curfew that started at 1700 and will last until 0800 on Feb. 28.

Earlier the authorities closed all bridges in Kyiv, cutting the paths from the left bank to the right bank of Kyiv.  No one will be allowed onto the streets for at least 24 hours.

UPDATE (1700): Hackers downed Kremlin communications watchdog Roskomnadzor and the Kremlin, State Russian Duma and many other Russian government websites. Earlier international hacking group Anonymous claimed it has officially joined the Ukrainian government cyberwar against the Kremlin. The group also said it has leaked a database of the Russian Defense Ministry.

UPDATE (1627):  Negotiations failed. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said that Russian Army had halted its advance for a while as Russian President Vladimir Putin was waiting for Kyiv's decision to start negotiations. "But when Kyiv refused to negotiate, the army continued its mission," Peskov said.

After that, Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the head of the President of Ukraine's Office said in a statement that Peskov's claim was false. The Russians have been trying to stall negotiations before beginning.

"Every war ends with negotiations. But the demands have to be reasonable and fair to Ukraine and Ukrainian society," Podolyak said, revealing no actual details.

Podolyak only said that the Russians lied when they said Putin ordered to stop the army. As on Friday night and Saturday morning the fighting was fierce and with maximum intensity.

 "(This is) precisely because President Volodymyr Zelensky categorically does not accept any conditions and ultimatums that are unacceptable for Ukraine," Podolyank said.

Overnight, Washington offered Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, currently a target of Putin's forces, the opportunity evacuate from Ukraine. However, Zelensky refused, the Washington Post has reported.  In the morning, Zelensky recorded another address to the Ukrainian nation from outside the Presidential Administration building in Kyiv.

"There a reports that I have been calling on our army to lay down their weapons. Don't trust fake news," Zelensky said.

"Well listen to me, I am here. We won't lay down our weapons. We will continue protecting our state. Truth is our main weapon."

Zelensky said that, together with the Ukrainian Army he has been fighting for Ukrainian land, and Ukrainian children.

"This is all I have to say for now," Zelensky said.

UPDATE (0916): A Russian missile hit a residential building in the Solomiansky District of Kyiv, not far from the Kyiv International Airport. Ukraine's State Emergency Service has been evacuating wounded people from the 24-story building. No fatalities have been reported so far, the Interior Ministry reported.

"During the last 24 hours, Russian missiles hit some 40 civilian infrastructure structures," the Interior Ministry reported during the morning of Feb. 26. Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova proclaimed the thatRussian army was not targeting civilians.

Overnight, Ukrainian forces said they had killed more than 60 saboteurs. Some of them were dressed in Ukrainian Army or National Police uniforms.

Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to the chief-of-staff of the Office of the President, during a briefing reported that Ukraine had survived another night of the Russian war and had not lost control over any major city.

Moreover, the Ukrainian Army reclaimed control over Ukraine's southern port city of Kherson. In the morning, after heavy fighting for the city, the Ukrainian anthem played in the streets.

UPDATES for 26.02.2022

UPDATE (0440): An attack on a military position near the Beresteiska metro station in Kyiv has been beaten back, reports the Armed Forces.

Firefights between Russian forces and the Ukrainian military broke out in the area of the Beresteiska metro station in western Kyiv. The Ukrainian military confirms that it was able to repel the attack.

The Kyiv City Administration warns city residents that combat is occurring between Ukrainian defenders and Russian invaders throughout the streets of the capital, and has recommended that they stay in bomb shelters.

"Military action is occurring throughout the streets of our city. We ask that everyone remain calm and exercise maximum caution! If you are currently in a bomb shelter - then do not exit at the moment," stated the mayor's office.

At 0350 in the morning Ukrainian air defense systems shot down a Russian missile that was heading in the direction of the Kyiv Dam, located to the north of Kyiv, Ukraine's Ministry of Infrastructure reported on the Telegram messenger. "The destruction of Kyiv damn could cause a flood that would destroy several districts of Kyiv and cause numerous casualties," the ministry said. "Furthermore the wave coming from the Kyiv damn could potentially destroy other hydroelectric power stations located down the Dnipro River."

END OF DAY 2 of Russian war against Ukraine

UPDATE (2100): There were six explosions in Kyiv, next to Thermal Power Plant No. 6 in Kyiv's Troyeschina residential district, in the north-east of the city, Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said.

In Mariupol Russians have been shelling civilian objects. School 48 was under fire.

Ukraine's SBU security service says it has been hunting for saboteurs.

UPDATE (2034):  Responding to the fake news about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky leaving Kyiv, the president himself posted a video from central Kyiv.  On the video, Zelensky, together with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, President's Office Head Andriy Yermak, president's advisor Mykhailo Podoliak, and Servant of the People's Party Head David Arakhamia, were seen standing next to the President's Office.

"We are all here. Our servicemen are here. Our citizens are here. We are all protecting our independence, our state. And we will continue to do it. Glory to our defenders. Glory to Ukraine," Zelensky said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recorded an address to the Ukrainian military. He seemed nervous and expressed hatred for the Ukrainian government. "Don't let those junkies, Neo-Nazis and Banderites use your wives and elderly as human shields. Take over the government. As it seems it would be easier for us to negotiate with you than with the government," Putin said angrily.

His claim came up amid the news about a mass retreat of Russian forces on the war front near the town of Bilovodsk in Luhansk Oblast. The Joint Forces Operation reported that Ukrainian soldiers had launched a massive counter attack against the Russians and crushed them, making dozens escape in the direction of the Russian border.

UPDATE (1730): The Ukrainian army has lost Kherson. The Russians overwhelmed Ukrainian forces and took control of the port city in southern Ukraine, Kherson Oblast Administration said in a statement on Facebook. "The enemy broke the defenses of our city. Please do not panic. We will do everything we can to maintain order and save human lives," the administration said.

UPDATE(1646): Ukraine's Armed Forces Chief Commander Valeriy Zaluzhny said in an official statement that since the start of the active phase of the Russian invasion Ukrainian armed forces had destroyed:

80 Russian tanks;

516 different Russian armored vehicles;

7 helicopters;

10 fighter jets;

2,800 Russian soldiers;

"Welcome to hell!" Zaluzhny wrote.

UPDATE (1600): The Interior Ministry of Ukraine press service reports heavy fighting in Okhtyrka, a town in Sumy Oblast, where the Ukrainian gas transportation system is located. "The Russians have been using Hurricane missile systems, bombarding the town. According to our information, shells hit a kindergaten, children are wounded," the ministry's press service said in a Telegram message.

The Ukrainian Special Connections Service has reported more than 1,000 Russian soldiers were killed in combat on Feb. 25. "This is the largest number of casualties in a day that the Russian Army has ever had," the statement read.

In Zhytomyr Oblast Ukrainian fire fighters have put out a fire in grain storage that was hit by Russian missile.

And in Ukrainian south, Russian warships attacked two cargo vessels sailing under the flags of Panama and Moldova near Yuzhny Port in Odesa Oblast. A fire started on a Moldovan vessel after the attack.

Photo: GSUA

UPDATE (1400): Heavy fighting continues in Chernihiv Oblast, Sumy Obast and in the outskirts of Kyiv. Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said in a statement that the city has turned to the phase of defense.

The mayor did not specify what he meant, but his claim came out amid fighting with Russian saboteurs in the Ukrainian capital's northern Obolon district and in the Rybalsky Island neighborhood.

"The enemy is in Kyiv," Klitschko said.

In Vorzel, a village of Kyiv Oblast, Russian shells hit orphanage, Ukraine's Prosecutor's General Iryna Venedictova reported on Facebook. "Fifty minors were there when the attack happened. Fortunately, no casualties. The kids were at the other side of the building," Venedictova said.

UPDATE (1200): A Russian tank ran over a car with a civilian inside in the Obolon district in the north of Kyiv. Fortunately, the elderly man inside survived.

The Interior Ministry of Ukraine reported that two minors have died in the last 24 hours.

Russian law enforcement in Telegram channels have shared messages that Chechen paratroopers are heading from Belarus to fight in Kyiv.

Street fighting is continuing in the Kyiv city center, not far from the government quarter.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has said that from now on, all Ukrainians over 60 years old can join the territorial defense forces of Ukraine.

The ground forces of the Ukrainian Army have reported that 20 Russian tanks were destroyed in Chernihiv Oblast.

The Office of the President of Ukraine reported the most tense situation remains in the north and west of Kyiv. Russian saboteur groups are engaged in street fighting with Ukraine's Security Service and National Guard of Ukraine.

"Make Molotov cocktails, neutralize the occupier," Ukrainian Defense Ministry wrote on Twitter as Russian troops were forcing their way into several districts of Kyiv.

Vladyslav Skakun (Фото: GSOU)
Vladyslav Skakun / Photo: GSOU

UPDATE (1106): A Ukrainian marine named Vladyslav Skakun conducted a suicide bombing of the Henichesk Bridge to stop a Russian tank column. Skakun's sacrifice helped his combat friends to regroup and organize the defense in Kherson Oblast, one of the regions that have seen the heaviest fighting in the war so far, Ukraine's General Staff has reported.

UPDATE (0945):  Levels of gamma radiation exceeding the norm have been recorded in the Chornobyl exclusion zone, the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine reported on Feb. 25.

"Ecocenter experts attribute these fluctuations in the performance of the Ascro sensors to the disturbance of topsoil due to the movement of a large amount of heavy military equipment through the exclusion zone, which has released of contaminated radioactive dust into the air."

The condition of nuclear facilities and other Chernobyl facilities are unchanged.

At the same time, Hanna Maliar, the deputy defense minister of Ukraine, reported that a group of Russian saboteurs, who broke into Kyiv using Ukrainian armored vehicles, have been destroyed.

In the Obolon district of Kyiv, Ukrainian territorial defense battalions and the army have been fighting Russian saboteurs.

UPDATE (0905):  The Russians are getting closer to Kyiv. The Ukraiynska Pravda news website reports the Kremlin intends to seize the capital of Ukraine. The  Ukrainian army has been fighting in the north and in the south of Kyiv. Near the Kyiv suburb of Irpin, the Ukrainian military has blown up a bridge to stop a Russian offensive.

Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported on Facebook that Russian saboteurs had seized several Ukrainian military trucks and armored vehicles, which broke into Kyiv from the north, undercover. They are currently heading to the city center.

UPDATES for 25.02.2022

The Russians fired some 40 ballistic missile in Kyiv this morning.  Two missiles hit a residential building in Kyiv's Pozniaky district on the left bank of the Dnipro river. The Ukrainian State Emergency Service has reported there's a danger the residential building might collapse.

"The Russians have been claiming that they attack only military targets, but that is not true. Kyiv has already seen this type of attack in 1941," Ukrainian Presidet Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement, referring to the 1941 bombing of Kyiv by the Nazi Germany.

Three people were wounded in the missile strike on the building.

Zelensky has also said overall more than 137 Ukrainians have died and more than 600 were wounded in the first 24 hours of the Russian invasion.

Photo: courtesy
  1. END OF DAY 1 of Russian war against Ukraine

UPDATE (2335):  As Ukraine is prepares to unplug from the joint energy system of Belarus and Russia and join the European one instead, Russians have been spreading fake news. "The enemy has been spreading fakes via Telegram that Ukrainians have to lower energy consumption to zero and switch off social media for a smooth disconnect," State Special Connection service has reported. "This is false and another attempt to hit the Ukrainian energy system."

UPDATE (2311): Anton Herashchenko said in a Telegram channel that Ukrainian soldiers had taken control over Hostomel Airport in Kyiv Oblast.  Later State Special Connection Service confirmed the report.

UPDATE( 2300): Ukrainian Army Land Forces report on their official Facebook page that as of 2100, heavy fighting continues all over Ukrainian war front. As of now, more than 60 Russian tactical groups are operating in Ukraine.

The Russians are attacking near southern cities of Kherson and Mykolaiv, and in the east and north at Kharkiv. The attacks are coming from Belarus and from Russian-controlled Transnistria and Crimea. "It has been clear the enemy has been trying to create a land corridor from Russia to Crimea and Transnistria," the Land Forces press service said in a statement.

Russians also seized Zmiinyi Island in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has reported. All 13 Ukrainian border guards who were guarding the island were killed.

Ukrainians have been sharing the last words of the fallen Ukrainian heroes told the Russians. The recording has been published by the Ukrainian authorities:

On the tape a Russian warship threatens the Ukrainians that if they don't surrender, they will be destroyed.

"Russian warship? Go f*ck yourself, Russian warship!" the Ukrainians said in  response to the threat.

UPDATE (1936): Russian forces have taken control over the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant after heavy fighting with the Ukrainian National Guard. Russian forces have taken the workers of the Chornobyl Plant hostage.

At the same time, the Office of the President of Ukraine has reported that the Ukrainian Army has lost control over Antonov Airport in Kyiv Oblast, after heavy fighting.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky battles are still ongoing in Kherson, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv.

The Russians have seized control over the town of Henichesk and entered the city of Sumy, near the Russian border.

Ukrainian Defense Ministry reports the military situation as of 1700 in English below:

UPDATE ( 1829): Ukrainian Army Commander in Chief Valery Zaluzhny reported on Facebook that a Russian platoon surrendered to the Ukrainian army.

"A whole reconnaissance platoon of the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade surrendered near Chernihiv," Zaluzhny wrote, posting a photo of a Russian soldier he claimed was Sergeant Konstantin Buinichev from the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Kemerovo Region, Russia.

"No one thought we were going to kill. We were not going to fight, we were gathering information, "Buinichev reportedly told the Ukrainian forces.

UPDATE (1631): Anton Herashchenko, an advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister, wrote on Facebook that the Russians have breached the Ukrainian border from Belarus in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. The National Guard of Ukraine, which guards the storage of unsafe radioactive waste in Chornobyl, is resisting the push.

"If the occupiers' artillery strikes hits the nuclear waste storage facility, radioactive dust may cover the territories of Ukraine, Belarus and the EU countries," Herashchenko wrote.

UPDATE( 1600): Ukrainian Land Forces have reported on Facebook that Ukrainian soldiers have used Javelins in a fight with the Russians near the town of Hlukhiv, in Sumy Oblast. As a result, the Ukrainian military destroyed 15 Russian T-72 tanks.

At the same time Russian warships attacked Zmiiniy Island in the Black Sea, Ukraine's State Border Guard Service has reported. As of 1600 two Russian warships, the Moskva and Vasyl Bykov, are attacking Ukrainian border guards.

A Russian soldier (Фото: CiCAFU)
A Russian soldier / Photo: CiCAFU

Chief Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny reported that Ukrainian soldiers of the 93rd brigade have captured two Russian soldiers near the Ukrainian border.

UPDATE (1305): Russian military assets have launched a breakthrough operation on the Ukrainian border in the Zhytomyr and Kyiv oblasts, from Belarus. The Ukrainian military has engaged them.

Russian troops are attempting to break through the Belarus-Ukrainian border ​​in Kyiv Oblast.

The enemy’s armor and vehicles also passed through the Vilcha checkpoint in the Zhytomyr Oblast, the State Border Guard Service reports. The border guards, together with the Ukrainian military, fought back.

Additionally, Grad rocket systems have been used to shell the site of the Mlachivka border service installation in Zhytomyr Oblast.

When applicable, border units may be redeployed to reserve positions and operate in cooperation with the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Guard.

UPDATE (1240): Saboteurs wearing Ukrainian Armed Forces uniforms are reported to have entered Ukraine from Belarus. The police have asked residents to report suspicious persons. The mayor of the city of Sarny in Rivne Oblast, Ruslan Serpeninov, announced that saboteur groups wearing Ukrainian army uniforms, with red ribbons, had penetrated Ukraine from the territory of Belarus, citing law enforcement agencies.

Later, this information was confirmed by the National Police.

“Law enforcement officers stress the need to pay special attention to suspicious persons and objects. All suspicious things, as well as suspicious persons with red elements on their attire, should be reported to police hotline 102. We also ask all civilians not to go outside in uniform or tactical clothes,” the ministry said in a statement.

UPDATED (1228): The Ukrainian government Strategic Communications Center, or Stratcom, reports on Twitter that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are deterring the advance of the Russian aggressor. In Chernihiv Оblast, the enemy was stopped. Heavy fighting is going on Kharkiv's direction and in the area of Joined Forces Operation. On Kharkiv bypass road, 4 Russian tanks are reported to have destroyed.

UPDATE: Russian bombing destroyed a residential building in Chuguyiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine's State Emergency Service reports civilian casualties. Numbers currently unconfirmed.

Photo: SES

UPDATE (1106): The general Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported in an official Facebook message Ukrainian soldiers burnt four Russian tanks heading to Kharkiv. Near the town Shchastia in Luhansk Oblast Ukrainian destroyed more than 50 Russian soldiers.

Near Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast Ukrainians downed a sixth Russian fighter jet this morning.

UPDATE: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed Ukrainians living around the world, calling on them to share information about Vladimir Putin's regime atrocities in Ukraine.

UPDATE: Russians started shelling Ukraine's civilian areas, Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister wrote in Telegram."Russians lie! The suburbs of Kharkiv were hit by unguided Tornado missiles. Information on the dead and wounded is being clarified," Gerashchenko wrote.

UPDATE (1028): Ukrainian Army soldiers and National Guardsmen, as well as border guards have been fighting Russians on all fronts, Ukrainian Interior Ministry reports in Telegram messanger official channel on Feb. 24.

The fighting continues near villages of Kopani and Ivanove, Kherson Oblast, near the border with Russian-occupied Crimea.

Near Skadovsk, a resort town in Kherson Oblast, Russian helicopters have been attacking Ukrainian border checkpoints.  Three border guards were killed in combat there, Interior Ministry reports.

UPDATE: Ukrainian State Border Guard Service reported an attack on a checkpoints in Kyiv Oblast.

UPDATE: Ukraine is switching to the "full defense mode", Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced in a Facebook message on Feb. 24.

"The enemy is attacking us. But our army is unbreakable. All, who know how to hold weapons and fight can join Ukrainian Army territorial defense forces," Reznikov said.

"You should come to the territorial defense brigades in your region. You need only your passport."

UPDATE: As of 0900, the Russian Army has breached the Ukrainian border in Chernihiv, Sumy,  Luhansk, and Kharkiv Oblasts, Ukraine's Interior Ministry reported via the Telegram instant messenger.

Under the cover of artillery, Russian tanks broke into Ukraine near the village of Senkivka, Chernihiv Oblast. They entered from Belarus.

A column of Russian armored trucks entered Ukraine from Budarky checkpoint in Kharkiv Oblast and from Milove checkpoint in Luhansk Oblast.

Ukrainian checkpoints in Luhansk, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Zhytomyr Oblast are under Russian shelling. Several casualties among Ukraine's state border guard service have been reported by the Interior Ministry.

0800 On Feb. 24 at 5:00 AM, the armed forces of the Russian Federation launched an intensive shelling of Ukrainian units in the east of the country, conducted missile strikes on airfields in Boryspil, Ozerne, Kulbakino, Chuhuiv, Kramatorsk, and Chornobaivka, as well as on military infrastructure belonging to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At the same time, the aggressor began artillery shelling of the areas and the settlements along the state border and administrative boundary with the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea.

Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander Valery Zaluzhny said in a Facebook post that Ukraine is invoking Article 51 of the UN Charter. Ukraine is fighting back, using all its capacities.

"In the area of environmental protection, five planes of the Russian Air Force and two helicopters were shot down, two tanks were destroyed, and several trucks of the Russian Armed Forces were destroyed," Zaluzhny said on Feb. 24.

The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine ordered Ukraine's armed forces to inflict maximum losses on the invaders.

There are currently no losses among the defenders of Ukraine, Zaluzhny said.

UPDATE: Ukraine's State Border Guard Service published a video showing Russian military vehicles entering Ukraine from Russian-occupied Crimea.

UPDATE: The State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported the Russians seized two Ukrainian towns in Luhansk Oblast.

UPDATE: The Ukrainian General Army Staff has reported that Ukrainian forces have downed five Russian fighter jets and a helicopter.

Russian forces are attacking military infrastructure all over Ukraine.

Belarusian forces have also reportedly attacked Ukraine's State Border Guards Service checkpoints in the north of the country.

"We will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, the prosecution of those who have committed numerous bloody crimes," Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

He also added that "modern Russia, after the collapse of the Soviet Union - the most powerful power in the world, no one should doubt that this will lead to the defeat of the attacker."

After his words, Ukrainians were woken by the sounds of explosions in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Sumy, Odesa and many other previously peaceful Ukrainian cities and towns.

The Ukrainian government has imposed martial law.  The mayor of Kyiv, mayor and other city heads, have said taht Ukraine's government remains with its people.

The Russian Black Sea fleet is reportedly shelling Odesa.

A few hours earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Russians, saying that Putin was refusing to hold telephone talks. Zelensky asked the Russians if they wanted a war.

"The leadership of your country does not sit down at the negotiating table with us. Maybe he will sit down with you," said the Ukrainian president.

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