El Mercurio de Chile On Line | Live blog: Russian missiles ‘strike’ Ukraine’s Kiev as fighting continues

Ukrainian officials warn Kiev residents that fighting is underway against Russian forces, who are storming towards the capital on the third day of Moscow‘s military campaign. Here are the latest updates: Meanwhile, shelling was heard in central Kiev following reports of gunfire in the same area and an attack on a military base in the Ukrainian capital. (AP) Saturday, February 26, 2022

Russian missiles 'strike' Ukraine's Kiev

Two missiles hit areas southwest of Ukrainian capital Kiev's city centre, a Reuters news correspondent reported

One of the missiles landed in the area close to the Zhulyany airport, he said

Another witness said the missiles hit the area near the Sevastopol square, while the capital city government said one of the missiles struck a residential building

Earlier, witnesses reported gunfire close to the government quarters in Kiev

Ukrainian authorities have warned residents that street fighting is underway against Russian forces, and urged people to seek shelter

Hundreds of casualties have been reported in the fighting, which included shelling that sliced through a Kiev apartment building and pummelled bridges and schools. 

Zelenskyy : Western partners sending weapons to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that “partners” were sending weapons to help Kiev fight Russian troops, adding he had spoken by phone with French leader Emmanuel Macron

“A new day on the diplomatic frontline began with a conversation with Emmanuel Macron,” Zelensky tweeted. 

“Weapons and equipment from our partners are on the way to Ukraine. The anti-war coalition is working!”

A new day on the diplomatic frontline began with a conversation with @EmmanuelMacron . Weapons and equipment from our partners are on the way to Ukraine. The anti-war coalition is working!

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 26, 2022 Russia suspends space launches from French Guiana 

Russia is suspending space launches from French Guiana and withdrawing its technical personnel in response to EU sanctions over Moscow's attacks on Ukraine, the country's space agency said

“Roskosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners over organising space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical personnel… from French Guiana,” Dmitry Rogozin, chief of the Russian space agency, said on messaging app Telegram

Rogozin said the move comes “in response to EU sanctions against our enterprises.”

Russia claims captured Ukraine's Melitopol

Russian troops have captured the city of Melitopol in Ukraine's southeastern Zaporizhzhya region, Russia's Interfax news agency cited Moscow's defence ministry as saying

Fighting was under way on Saturday near the southern Ukrainian cities of Mariupol, Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Odessa, an adviser to the Ukrainian president's office said

“Heavy fighting is taking place near Mariupol,” Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser, told a briefing earlier. 

“But there is no chance that Mariupol will surrender or be captured,” he had said

Meanwhile, shelling was heard in central Kiev, a Reuters news correspondent reported, following reports of gunfire in the same area and an attack on a military base in the Ukrainian capital

Russia presses ahead with its military campaign in Ukraine. Here is a brief look at the latest developments 👇

TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) February 26, 2022 Russia 'targets' Ukraine military infrastructure with missiles

The Russian ministry said Moscow has used air- and ship-based cruise missiles to carry out overnight strikes on military targets in Ukraine

“During the night, the armed forces of the Russian Federation launched a strike with long-range precision weapons using air- and sea-launched cruise missiles against the military infrastructure of Ukraine,” defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in televised remarks

Interfax earlier reported that Ukrainian troops are in control of Kiev's hydroelectric power plant to the north of the Ukrainian capital

Japanese cargo ship hit by missile off Ukraine

A cargo ship owned by a Japanese firm has been hit by a missile off the coast of Ukraine in the Black Sea, local media reported

According to the Japanese news agency Kyodo, one of the crew members of 20 Philippines nationals was injured in the Panamanian-registered cargo ship Namura Queen

The firm said the ship is heading to Türkiye for damage assessment

The Ukrainian authorities said the missile was fired by Russian forces, according to media reports

Zelenskyy refuses to leave, urges Ukraine to 'stand firm'

Zelenskyy has urged the country to “stand firm” against attacks by Russia, refusing American help to evacuate

“We will not put down weapons, we will defend our state,” he said in a video on Saturday on Twitter

This comes amid growing signs that Russia may be seeking to overthrow Ukraine’s government, which US officials have described as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ultimate objective

Russian forces attack capital Kiev, heavy fighting underway

Russian troops attacked an army base located on a main avenue in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev but the assault was repelled, the Ukrainian military has said

Separately, the Interfax Ukraine agency said Russian soldiers were trying to capture one of the city's electricity generating stations

Hours earlier, Zelenskyy had predicted Russian troops would mount an assault overnight

“Military criminals of Russia attacked one of the military units in Kiev on Victory Avenue. The attack has been fought back,” the armed forces of Ukraine said in an English-language posting on Facebook

It gave no details and the report could not immediately be confirmed. Peremohy, or Victory, Avenue is located just to the west of the centre of Kiev

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says Russia will ‘storm’ Kiev, warning it will be the hardest night as Russian forces close in on the city centre

Zelenskyy also appealed to Russian President Putin to start talks.

TRT World (@trtworld) February 26, 2022 UN aviation body 'condemns' Russian use of Ukraine airspace

The UN's civil aviation body has condemned the “violation” of Ukraine's territory and airspace after Russia attacked

The 36 states on the International Civil Aviation Organization Council (ICAO) “condemned the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of a United Nations Member State, including its airspace,” the agency said in a statement after a meeting of its governing body

It said the attack also violated Article 1 of the Chicago Convention, which established the ICAO as well as the rules of airspace rights and air travel and security

US to impose sanctions on Putin and Lavrov

The United States has said it would impose sanctions on Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, following similar announcements by Britain and the European Union in the wake of Moscow's attack on Ukraine

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said a travel ban would be part of the sanctions

Following the measures, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Russian television that “we have reached the line after which the point of no return begins.”

The president (Biden) has no intentions at this moment to engage with President Putin. He was just sanctioned. We just made a decision in coordination, in close lockstep with the Europeans to sanction him, a head of state.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Spaki

TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) February 26, 2022 Meta to restrict Russian state media on platform

Meta Platforms Inc is barring Russian state media from running ads or monetising on its platform anywhere in the world, the parent company of social media giant Facebook has said

“We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media,” its security policy head, Nathaniel Gleicher, said on Twitter. “These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend.”

France to send 500 troops to Romania

France is to deploy 500 military personnel as part of NATO forces to Romania after Russia attacked neighbouring Ukraine, the army chief of staff has said

NATO has decided to reinforce its presence to send a very clear sign of strategic solidarity, to position forces in Romania,” Thierry Burkhard told Radio France Internationale and broadcaster France24

Japan unclear of sanctioning Russian leadership

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said he spoke with his US counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on the phone

He said they agreed they must respond to Russia's attack against Ukraine properly to prevent it from becoming “a wrong lesson” because of its potential influence in Asia and the Indo-Pacific region

Hayashi declined to comment if Japan plans to join the US, Britain and the European Union in imposing sanctions on Putin and Lavrov. Hayashi said Japan will stay in close touch with other Group of Seven (G-7) members and other international leaders while watching the developments

Hayashi told reporters that he and Blinken reaffirmed their commitment to work closely with the rest of international society and they agreed it is necessary to reject Russia's unilateral act to change the status quo

US in talks with India over Ukraine

The US is in discussions with India over its position on the Russian attack on Ukraine, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, as New Delhi has yet to clearly condemn Moscow's assault

“We continue to engage with the Indians,” she told reporters

In telephone talks with Putin on Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for an “immediate cessation of violence,” his office said — but he did not explicitly condemn Moscow's military operation

India has historically had close ties with Russia, and Moscow is a major supplier of arms to the South Asian nation

On Friday, India abstained during a UN Security Council vote over a resolution stating that the group of countries “deplores in the strongest terms” Russia's “aggression” against Ukraine and which would have demanded the immediate withdrawal of its troops

UN chief calls Russian troops to 'return to their barracks'

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on Russian forces in Ukraine to “return to their barracks.”

“Soldiers need to return to their barracks. Leaders need to turn to the path of dialogue and peace,” he told reporters after Moscow vetoed a UN resolution deploring its “aggression” in Ukraine

“It is important to remember that the UN is not just the chamber behind me. It is tens of thousands of women and men around the world,” he said. 

“Standing, delivering, extending a lifeline of hope.”

The @UN Charter has been challenged in the past, but it has stood firm on the side of peace, security, development, justice, international law & human rights

The international community must do everything in its power so that these values prevail in Ukraine & for all humanity

— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) February 26, 2022 Ukraine shots down Russian fighter jets

Ukraine shot down two Russian fighter jets, an IL-76 aircraft and a helicopter, Ukrainian officials said

The head of the Vinnytsia Regional State Administration, Serhiy Borzov, said on social media that Ukraine shot down a Russian SU-25 fighter jet near Kalynivka in the Vinnytsia region

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Facebook that Ukrainian air defence systems shot down an IL-76 aircraft carrying paratroopers from the Russian airborne troops in the Vasylkiv region

Located near Kiev, Vasylkiv is 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev

Ukrainian Air Force said that the country's S-300 air defence missile system shot down a Russian helicopter and a SU-25 fighter jet in Donbass

Australia increases sanctions on Russian leadership

Australia ramped up sanctions against Russia for attacking Ukraine, targeting oligarchs and members of parliament while preparing to join allies in directly punishing Putin

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia was imposing financial sanctions on eight oligarchs close to Putin and on the 339 members of parliament who were the “facilitators” of the attack

Key figures in the Belarussian government were also being sanctioned for “abetting the invasion,” she told reporters

Payne said she was seeking advice to enable Australia to join allies in sanctioning Putin and Lavrov

“It is an exceptional step to sanction leaders but this is an exceptional situation,” she said

Australia had previously announced sanctions on eight of Putin's top security advisors, 25 individuals, four military equipment entities and four financial institutions

US seeks $6.5B fund from Congress for Ukraine

The White House has asked Congress to approve $6.4 billion in aid to address the humanitarian and security crisis in Ukraine after Russia assaulted the country this week, Biden administration and congressional aides said

“In a recent conversation with lawmakers, the administration identified the need for additional US humanitarian, security, and economic assistance to Ukraine and Central European partners due to Russia's unprovoked and unjustified invasion,” an official from the White House Office of Management and Budget said

The request included $2.9 billion in security and humanitarian assistance and $3.5 billion for the Department of Defense

For all the updates from Friday (February 25) click here

For all the updates from Thursday and Wednesday (February 24 and 23) click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies