Russian troops bore down on Kyiv and explosions and gunfire sounded around the city on the second day of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, as President Vladimir Putin demanded Ukrainian troops lay down their arms.
The invasion focused on the Ukrainian capital on Friday andrResidents heard explosions starting before dawn and gunfire was reported in several areas.
Five explosions struck near a major power plant on Kyiv’s eastern outskirts, said Mayor Vitali Klitschko. There was no information on what caused them and no electrical outages were immediately reported.
“Shots and explosions are ringing out in some neighbourhoods. Saboteurs have already entered Kyiv,” said the mayor of the city of three million. “The enemy wants to put the capital on its knees and destroy us.”
Moscow said it had captured the Hostomel airfield northwest of the capital – a potential staging post for an assault on Kyiv that has been fought over since Russian paratroopers landed there in the first hours of the war. This could not be confirmed and the Ukrainian authorities reported heavy fighting there.
Intense gunfire broke out on a bridge across the Dnieper River dividing eastern and western Kyiv, while another key bridge to the capital was blown away. Some residents sheltered in underground metro stations.
Windows were blasted out of a 10-storey apartment block near the main airport. A two-metre crater showed where a shell had struck before dawn.
“How can we be living through this in our time? Putin should burn in hell along with his whole family,” said Oxana Gulenko, sweeping broken glass from her room.