TERRIFYING video shows the moment a missile smashes into an apartment block in Kyiv.
Rescuers pulled survivors from the rubble of block, near an airport in the Ukrainian capital, where Russian forces trying to storm the city are being met with fierce resistance.Ukrainian soldiers beside a burning vehicle as fighting continues in Kyiv[/caption] Damage done to a tower block near an airport in the Ukrainian capital[/caption] Kyiv has been hit by a second night of shelling[/caption] Firefighters tackling a blaze in a tower block that was hit by a missile[/caption] Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a defiant message as dawn broke[/caption]
Harrowing images from the Ukrainian capital show burning vehicles, buildings blasted by missiles and flames lighting up the night sky.
Ukrainian Interior Ministry said there was “active fighting on the streets of our city” as the conflict intensified.
As Russia forces tried to fight their way through the streets of the capital, during the night, dramatic video showed a blazing vehicle on Kyiv’s Peremohy (Victory) Avenue .
With dawn breaking over the city, the extent of the damage inflicted on Kyiv became clear with images showing smouldering blocks of flats.
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Fighting appeared to be raging close to Igor Sikorsky Kyiv International Airport (Zhuliany) in Kyiv with video residential tower blocks hit by missiles and residents pulled from the rubble.
Soldiers were seen next to the charred remains on vehicles in the city’s roads.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy growled a message of defiance as he refused a US offer of evacuation reportedly saying: “I need ammo not a ride.”
“The fights is here,” he told US officials amid as Russian forces stormed the capital, encountering fierce Ukrainian resistance.
In video messages, he also quashed rumours he has called for a surrender.
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“We will not put down weapons, we will defend our state. Glory to our defenders, both male and female. Glory to Ukraine!”
Ukraine’s government claim Russian troops fought against their forces near Beresteiska metro station, just five miles from Maidan (Independence) Square, the central point of Kyiv.
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Russian troops also attacked an army base in the city but were successfully repelled, Ukraine’s military claimed in a Facebook post early on Saturday.
Ukraine’s Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said: “We are stopping the horde as best as we can, the situation in Kyiv is under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and our citizens.”
Separately, the Interfax Ukraine agency said Russian soldiers were trying to capture one of Kyiv’s electricity generating stations.
Loud artillery blasts were heard coming from close to the city centre, while a reporter for the Kyiv Independent claimed “extremely hard combat” was underway near Kyiv Zoo.
The Washington Post’s correspondent in the city reported “dozens and dozens” of explosions in the city.
Google Maps is showing a number of major roads in and out of the city have been closed, including around Maidan Square, and major thoroughfares leading to and from the city’s airports.
CNN’s Clarissa Ward reports that all of the fighting “is now happening within the city limits,” saying she can hear “a lot of explosions from many different directions”.
Residents have been urged to stay inside shelters, including underground stations and hotel basements.
Outside of Kyiv, air raid sirens have been heard in multiple Ukrainian cities, including Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Uman, and Vinnytsia.
A defiant Zelenskyy said he was top of tyrant Vladimir Putin’s hitlist as he warned that Ukraine’s outgunned warriors faced a long and hard night.
But he warned bully Putin that Friday night would prove to be “very difficult” as Russia looks to use all available forces to break Ukraine’s resistance.
He told his nation in a stirring battle address: “We have to persevere tonight.”
Zelenskyy also reportedly turned down a US request to evacuate him out of the city, saying: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
It follows a similar warning from Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko that Friday night would be “very difficult” for the city of almost 3 million people.
“The situation now – without exaggeration – is threatening for Kyiv,” he said. “The night, close to the morning, will be very difficult.”
Ukraine’s Defence Ministry has urged people in Kyiv to make their own petrol bombs to repel the Russian invaders.
More than 10,000 assault rifles have been handed out to ordinary citizens in the city as part of a last-ditch defence of the capital.
Ukrainians have pledged to fight to the death to defend their country, after President Zelenskyy urged his country’s military to “take power in your own hands”.
A number of Ukrainians have also reportedly made Molotov cocktails to fight off the onrushing Russian forces.
Kira Rudik, 36, a Ukrainian MP, shared a picture of herself holding a Kalashnikov, after vowing to stay and fight.
She tweeted: “I learn to use Kalashnikov and prepare to bear arms. It sounds surreal as just a few days ago it would never come to my mind. Our women will protect our soil the same way as our men!”
If verified, the attack could be the biggest single loss of life yet suffered by Russian invaders.
Ukraine armed forces general staff made the claim as Putin’s fighters struggled to find a foothold in Kyiv on the second day of the campaign.
Illia Ponomarenko, defence reporter with The Kyiv Independent newspaper, reported just before 4am Ukrainian time (2am GMT) that a second Russian Ilyushin Il-76 had been downed.
Quoting Ukraine’s State Agency for Special Communications, he said the fighter jet was shot down near Bila Tserkva, 48 miles southwest of Kyiv city centre.
On Thursday night, 13 Ukrainian soldiers told a Russian warship to “go f*** themselves” as they made a heroic last stand.
Tasked with defending Snake Island in the Black Sea, the defiant border guards were ordered to surrender by a Russian warship.
A brave Ukrainian woman was also filmed confronting two Russian soldiers in the port city of Henichesk, less than 18 miles from the annexed territory of Crimea.
Russia has ramped up its efforts to seize control of Ukraine after making slower-than-expected progress on Wednesday and Thursday, allegedly killing civilians in the process.
Ukraine claims it has killed or captured 2,800 troops, destroyed 80 tanks, and shot down seven warplanes as their troops launched a bloody resistance against the Russians.
It follows a day of fighting which saw Russian forces reportedly fail to gain as much ground as expected.
Earlier on Friday, Russia was accused of bombing a nursery after pictures emerged showing the school in the eastern Ukrainian city of Okhtyrka “surrounded by bodies”.
Bodies of at least two adults were seen lying outside the “Sunshine” nursery in pools of blood as people crouched alongside them.The Ukrainian flag continues to fly in Kyiv[/caption] Smoke billowing across the Ukrainian capital[/caption] Video appears to show a blazing vehicle hit in shelling in Kyiv[/caption]
The front of the building – which has a sandpit, play area, and slide – appears blown out with its shutters scattered on the ground.
Kyiv’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of war crimes and said his government was putting together a report which it would send to the Hague.
In another disturbing video, a Russian tank was filmed driving over a moving car in Kyiv, completely crushing it.
It reversed off the vehicle before ordinary people were able to prise the driver out of the flattened car using axes and other tools.
Miraculously, the elderly man behind the wheel survived the shocking incident.
Elsewhere, a soldier blew himself up on a bridge to stop Russians storming in from Crimea.
And a viral video clip showed a fearless man walking up to armoured cars.
Fierce exchanges erupted through the day five miles north of Kyiv city centre as fighters engaged Russians arriving in attack helicopters.
Putin’s elite Spetsnaz troops backed by undercover assassins and armoured vehicles were reported to be locked in gun battles in Kyiv’s suburbs while the main Russian force lay in wait 30 miles north.
The UK’s Chief of Defence Intelligence Lt Gen Sir Jim Hockenhull warned Russia would continue its bombardment and encirclement today.
He said: “Russian forces continue to advance on two axes towards Kyiv. Their objective is to encircle the capital to secure control of the population and change the regime.”
A crazed Putin doubled-down on his verbal attacks on Friday, calling on the Ukrainians to turn on their “drug-addicted neo-Nazi” leaders or lay down their arms and go home.
Western intelligence sources confirmed that Russians were trying to encircle Kyiv but were being beaten back. A security source said: “The Ukrainians have done excellent work taking down bridges to slow them.
“Russia has largely not met its Day One objectives and its battleplan timings are slipping. The conflict is the choice of Putin, this is now not a war of choice, but one of necessity, so he has to win.
“He would resort to any means necessary. If we do end up with significant urban fighting I have a concern for the way Russia would use indiscriminate force.”
In Russia, there has been backlash to the invasion, both from ordinary Russians and public figures.
More than 1,500 have been detained in protests across the country, while the daughter of Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich was among those who appeared to criticise Putin’s actions.
Russian lawmaker Mikhail Matveyev, who voted to recognise the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine earlier this week, also called for an immediate end to hostilities.
“I voted for Russia to become a shield not for Kyiv to be bombed,” he said.Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik poses with her Kalashnikov[/caption] Some 10,000 assault rifles have been given to citizens in Kyiv[/caption]
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