- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refused a US offer to help him leave Kyiv ahead of a Russian takeover.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for a full isolation of Russia, including an embargo on the purchase of Russian crude.
“I demand the world: fully isolate Russia, expel ambassadors, oil embargo, ruin its economy,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
- Russia has crippled the operations of more than 800 Ukrainian military infrastructure sites so far, the defense ministry in Moscow said.
Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov stated 14 military airfields, 19 command posts, 24 S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems and 48 radar stations were destroyed. In addition, eight Ukrainian naval boats were hit, he added.
- The Russia’s Defense Ministry said Saturday it launched cruise missile strikes overnight against targets in Ukraine — but claimed it exclusively targeted military infrastructure.
“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 Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov stated.
“I emphasize once again that the fire is directed only on the objects of the military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, excluding damage to residential and social infrastructure,” he added.
- The mayor of the Ukrainian capital said a missile hit an apartment building but no casualties were immediately reported.
Vitali Klitschko stated the missile slammed into a high-rise building on the southwestern outskirts of Kyiv near Zhuliany airport. He added rescue workers were heading there.
Myhailo Podoliak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said early Saturday that Russian forces had tried to “bring the maximum amount of equipment into the city of Kyiv.”
But, he stated, “Currently, the situation in the suburbs and the surrounding area is under control.”
Speaking on Ukrainian television, he noted there were “separate sabotage and reconnaissance groups” in the city, but that police and territorial self-defense units “are actively working against them.”
- The Ukrainian president recorded a video address outside his presidential office in Kyiv urging residents not to believe in “fakes” about the surrender of the Ukrainian Army.
“I am here. We will not put down any weapons. We will defend our state, because our weapons are our truth,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated, denouncing as disinformation claims that he had surrendered or fled.
- The Russian armed forces have established full control over the Ukrainian city of Melitopol in the south of the country, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov claimed.
- The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has warned civilians in the capital Kyiv that fighting is taking place on the streets.
- Ukraine’s military command reported areas near the cities of Sumy, Poltava and Mariupol were hit by air raids, with Russian Kalibr cruise missiles launched at the country from the Black Sea.
- Russian and Ukrainian forces have clashed on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, as authorities urged citizens to help defend the city from advancing Russian forces.
- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on soldiers in Russia’s war on Ukraine to “return to their barracks”.
“We must never give up. We must give peace another chance,” he told reporters after Moscow vetoed a UN resolution condemning its “aggression” in Ukraine.
- Russian troops attacked an army base in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv but the assault was repelled, the Ukrainian military has announced.
Separately, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Russian soldiers were trying to capture one of the city’s electricity generating stations.
- Australia seeks to join others in imposing direct sanctions on President Vladimir Putin and has extended its punitive financial measures to members of Russia’s parliament and more oligarchs, Foreign Minister Marise Payne has said.
“It is an exceptional step to sanction leaders, but this is an exceptional situation,” Payne stated at a press conference, adding that the government is seeking advice on how to follow other nations in the move.
“Vladimir Putin has unparalleled personal power over his country and he has chosen to go to war against a neighbour that posed no threat to Russia, because he wants to reverse history and take away the freedom and the democracy that the Ukrainian people chose for themselves,” Payne added.
In its new sanctions, Payne noted Australia will target 339 members of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament and eight more oligarchs. The new measures follow a series of Australian sanctions announced earlier in the week.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Ukraine has requested emergency funding.
- A political analyst warns that Russia’s “violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty” will promote separatism and extremist nationalism in the region, urging Iran to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity despite close relations with Moscow.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Russian troops would attempt to take the capital city, Kyiv, during the night.
“I have to say absolutely openly. This night will be more difficult than the day. Many cities of our state are under attack,” Zelenskyy said in a video address to the nation.
“Special attention on Kyiv – we cannot lose the capital,” he added in the clip released by the presidency.
- After a number of blasts Friday night and early Saturday in and around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the city has had a lull for the last 45 minutes.
The mayor of the town of Vasilkiv, about 35 kilometers (21.75 miles) south of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, said fierce fighting is now taking place in the middle of the town.
“It is completely occupied with fighting,” said Mayor Natalia Balasynovich, speaking on the Ukrainian parliament channel early Saturday.
She added that there were losses on the Ukrainian side — “many wounded, unfortunately, they are in the 200s.”
- United States President Joe Biden has instructed Secretary of State Antony Blinken to release up to $350 million in immediate support to Ukraine’s security and defense, according to a new memo released by the White House late Friday.
- Ukraine and Russia are discussing a place and time for talks, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s spokesman said on social media on Friday.
“Ukraine was and remains ready to talk about a ceasefire and peace,” spokesman Sergii Nykyforov added, refuting claims that Kyiv refused to negotiate with Moscow.
- The imposition of sanctions against President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reflect the West’s “absolute impotence” when it comes to foreign policy, RIA news agency has cited Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.
- Frequent artillery blasts could be heard in Kyiv, coming from an unspecified location some distance from the city centre, the Reuters news agency reported.
Russia has used its veto power to block a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning its invasion of Ukraine.
The vote was 11 in favor, one against, and three abstentions. China, which has declined to criticize Russia’s attack, was among the abstentions at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City on Friday.
- The US is “going to provide additional security assistance” to Ukraine, but “how it will be done is still being worked out,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby stated Friday.
“We’re very actively engaged in those efforts, to help them better defend themselves through both lethal and non-lethal assistance,” Kirby said during a press briefing at the Pentagon.
He added that he hasn’t detailed every shipment of aid to Ukraine that the US has made because of the security situation.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated Russian forces are closing in on Kyiv, advancing on the capital from the north and the east.
“This night will be very difficult, and the enemy will use all available forces to break the resistance of Ukrainians,” he warned.
Zelensky advised that “we have to stand ground,” adding, “the fate of Ukraine is being decided right now.”
- Washington has announced Kyiv falling is a real possibility.
- Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a set of sanctions on Russia, which include imposing sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, his chief of staff, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“Additionally, I am confirming Canada’s support to remove Russia from the SWIFT payment system, a critical part of the global banking system,” he stated.
Excluding Russian banks from SWIFT, a high security network that connect thousands of financial institutions around the world, “would make it even more difficult for President Putin to finance his brutalities,” according to Trudeau.
- White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki has said the US government plans to impose sanctions on President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
- US President Joe Biden has said after speaking with leaders of NATO nations, that the military alliance would maintain its “Open Door” policy to European states who share its values and may someday seek to join.
- The EU could exclude Russia from the SWIFT global interbank payments system in a fresh round of sanctions, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola has said.
- As many Russian soldiers will die in Ukraine as during the two Chechen wars, Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has warned.
“Thousands. Thousands,” Reznikov said, calling on Russians to take to the streets and demand an end to the war.
“Hide your loved ones if they are dear to you. Don’t send them to certain death! They will be killed from every window in every Ukrainian city,” he pleaded.
- Ukrainian employees of the US Embassy in Kyiv say they feel abandoned by the American government and left with neither support nor a means of escape as the Russian military continues its invasion of Ukraine.
The locally employed staff sent a letter to US State Department officials pleading for help, including evacuation from fighting zones, relocation, visas to the United States, and clear lines of communication with the State Department in Washington, as fighting intensifies across Ukraine.
- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian held talks with Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok about the situation of Iranians living in Ukraine.
The Slovakian FM stated Iranians residing in Ukraine, can enter Slovakian territory visa free and then travel home.
- The Russian assault on Ukraine was more brutal on Friday but Moscow’s forces did not advance as planned and Ukrainian officials are gathering evidence for possible war crimes prosecution, Ukrainian Ambassador to Washington Oksana Markarova said.
The United States is planning to impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin as soon as Friday, according to two sources familiar with the decision.
Additional Russian officials are likely to be included, one of the sources noted.
- A resolution calling to kick Russia off the UN Security Council for its invasion of Ukraine is circulating among US Congress members from both parties, Axios reported.
- Iran’s ambassador to Ukraine has paid a visit to the shelter where a group of Iranian students are taking refuge in the capital, Kiev, which is bracing for clashes with Russian military forces.
- The mayor of Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv Vitali Klitchko has said five blasts were heard in a close interval of three to five minutes near a power station in the north of the city. He added Russian troops were “very close to the capital” and predicted “a difficult night” for the city.
- People continue to gather in the main train station in Kyiv in an effort to get out of town as Russian troops enter the outskirts of the capital.
- The European Union has agreed to place Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on its list of sanctioned individuals, according to the bloc’s foreign policy chief.
“Let me flag that the only leaders in the world that are sanctioned by the European Union are [Bashar] Assad from Syria, [Alexander] Lukashenko from Belarus and now Putin from Russia,” Josep Borrell told a news conference after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with US President Joe Biden, saying on Twitter that the leaders discussed “strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance, and an anti-war coalition.”
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted he will introduce sanctions against President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. At a NATO meeting he also urged other leaders to exclude Russia from the SWIFT payment system.
- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated Moscow’s goal is “to change the government of Ukraine”.
“It is still a fluid situation. What we have seen is that the Ukrainian forces are fighting bravely and are actually able to inflict damage on the invading Russian forces,” Stoltenberg told reporters at the military alliance’s headquarters in Brussels after a video summit with its leaders.
- NATO said that it is making “significant additional defensive deployments of forces” to the eastern part of the alliance, noting that while “deterrence and defense” measures are being deployed, NATO’s actions remain “preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.”
“We have deployed defensive land and air forces in the eastern part of the Alliance, and maritime assets across the NATO area,” according to a statement released Friday.
“We have activated NATO’s defence plans to prepare ourselves to respond to a range of contingencies and secure Alliance territory, including by drawing on our response forces,” the statement added.
“We will continue to take all measures and decisions required to ensure the security and defense of all Allies,” the statement read, adding “we stand united to protect and defend all Allies. Freedom will always win over oppression.”
- The Russian military claimed it had seized a large cache of Western-supplied weapons inside of Ukraine.
- Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appeared in a video being shared on social media which shows the Ukrainian president donning a military uniform.
“We are here. We are in Kyiv. We are defending Ukraine,” he says in the clip.
The human rights organization Amnesty International blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offensive in Ukraine, calling on Russian forces to cease “indiscriminate attacks” on a democratic country.
“The Russian troops should immediately stop carrying out indiscriminate attacks in violation of the laws of war. The continuation of the use of ballistic missiles and other inaccurate explosive weapons causing civilian deaths and injuries is inexcusable,” the organization said.
Amnesty added that Russia’s attacks might constitute war crimes.
- The Iranian foreign minister, in a phone conversation with his Russia counterpart Sergei Lavrov, has called of a political solution to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
The Iranian foreign minister also emphasized that ensuring the security and health of Iranian citizens living in Ukraine is Iran’s serious priority and “we expect the conditions for their safe exit to be provided”.
- The European Union is planning a third package of sanctions against Moscow, EU officials announced on Friday.
Envoys of the EU’s 27 member states agreed to freeze any European assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, adding to a slew of sanctions backed by the leaders at an emergency summit on Thursday night.
- More than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have left the country in less than 48 hours, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who said the majority have gone to Poland and Moldova.
“More than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have fled their country in less than 48 hours – a majority to Poland and Moldova – and many more are moving towards its borders,” Grandi wrote on Twitter.
“Heartfelt thanks to the governments and people of countries keeping their borders open and welcoming refugees,” Grandi added.
- Russia has “about a third of their combat power” in Ukraine out of the total amassed for invasion on Ukraine’s borders right now, a senior US defense official stated.
Russian forces moving toward Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv are “meeting more resistance than they expected”, the official noted.
- The US has observed at least 200 total missile launches since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a senior US defense official told reporters.
The missiles being launched are a mix of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, the official said. The missiles are primarily being launched from ground and air, the official added.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on his US counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken to urge “hesitant European” leaders to ban Russia from SWIFT, a high-security messaging network that connects thousands of financial institutions around the world.
The United States and European Union have so far held back from cutting Russia off from SWIFT after failing to agree on a step that some have called the “nuclear option.”
- Ukraine’s capital has entered a “defense phase,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said, adding that “shots and explosions” had been heard in parts of the capital.
“Ukrainian military is neutralizing the sabotage groups of Russians,” he continued.
“The Ukrainian Army holds defense around Kyiv. The situation is complicated. But we believe in our armed forces. We support them and help everybody,” he stated.
- Russia has been suspended from the Council of Europe, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has claimed.
“The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, of which Italy holds the presidency, has taken the decision to exclude the Russian Federation from its membership,” Di Maio said in a statement.
“Italy considers this to be a necessary measure in light of Russia’s unacceptable military aggression against Ukraine, which constitutes a serious violation of international law,” he added.
- President Vladimir Putin said during a Russian Security Council meeting Ukraine’s Armed Forces should “take power” in the country and negotiate peace with Moscow.
He also accused the Kiev government and “neo-Nazis” of using civilians as “human shields” amid Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.
Putin added the Ukrainian military must not allow their government to use their “children, wives and loved ones as human shields” – tactics he insisted Kiev was using during Moscow’s military operation.
- US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has told lawmakers that the Pentagon was considering ways to train Ukrainian forces remotely if Russia seized control of Ukraine.
Austin told House members that officials were looking to provide more equipment to Ukrainian troops. However, doing so is harder with Russian troops fighting in the country, officials on the call told Axios.
- The United Nations refugee agency is warning that the war between Russia and Ukraine could lead 5 million Ukrainians to flee the country.
- Ukrainian forces have targeted a Russian airfield near the border, local reports and geolocated social media video and images show, The Hill reported.
- The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has reacted to the conflict in Ukraine saying “Nothing is more disgusting than war.”
Ali Shamkhani added in a tweet, “When the West seeks to deal a blow to the national security of countries, it is directly responsible for conflicts and crises that break out in order to confront the West’s strategy.”
- Ukrainian military vehicles are entering the country’s capital Kyiv to defend it against approaching Russian troops, according to the Ukraine’s interior ministry.
- Ukraine’s deputy defence minister has claimed that approximately 2,800 Russian troops have been killed in fighting so far.
Ukrainian forces had also destroyed about 80 Russian tanks, 516 armoured combat vehicles, 10 aircraft and seven helicopters, Hanna Malyar has claimed.
- The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) decided to relocate the venue of the 2022 Champions League final match in May from Russia’s St. Petersburg to the French capital of Paris, the press office of the European governing football body announced in a statement.
- Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation of high-ranking officials to Minsk to hold talks with Kiev.
“In response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request we’re ready to send representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry and presidential administration for negotiations”, he added.
In a new video message, Zelensky had called for direct talks with Putin.
- The EU is preparing to freeze the assets of Russian President and Foreign Minister Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov under a new sanctions package, according to four people familiar with the matter.
Foreign ministers hope to approve the sanctions package on Friday, along with a number of measures against Russian banks and industry, the people said.
Putin and Lavrov will not be subject to a ban on travelling under the measures, underlining the EU’s willingness to keep symbolic diplomatic possibilities open.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also urged Kyiv’s European allies to act more quickly and forcefully in imposing sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine, accusing the continent’s leaders of politicking as Russia’s forces advance on Kyiv.
- The Russia’s Defence Ministry has claimed its forces have captured the strategic Hostomel airfield, situated just 7 kilometers (4 miles) northwest of Kyiv, and landed paratroopers in the area.
It added troops had blocked access to Kyiv from the west, and Moscow-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine had attacked Ukrainian army positions with Russian support.
- The Ukrainian Defence Ministry announced Russian forces had entered the Obolon district of Kyiv, about six miles from the centre of the city.
It advised residents to report the movements of Russian troops and to “prepare molotov cocktails in order to neutralise the enemy”.
The Ukrainian military added that Russian spies and saboteurs had been spotted within the city, some 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the city center.
- Some 18,000 guns with ammunition have been distributed to reservists in the Kyiv region alone and all men from 18-60 are banned from leaving Ukraine.
- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held a phone conversation with his Hungarian counterpart, Péter Szijjártó, about the crisis in Ukraine and the situation of Iranian nationals in Ukraine seeking to return home.
Amir-Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s concerns over the measures taken by the US-led NATO military alliance, which fueled the crisis in Eastern Europe, and called for a political solution to the conflict. Szijjártó also expressed deep worries over the Russian military campaign and stressed the need for a diplomatic settlement of the conflict.
- The UN is “gravely concerned” about the situation in Ukraine, and is receiving increasing reports of civilian casualties, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani stated.
“Civilians are terrified of further escalation, with many attempting to flee their homes and others taking shelter where possible,” Shamdasani said, adding that “the military action by the Russian Federation clearly violates international law. It puts at risk countless lives and it must be immediately halted.”
- The international criminal court (ICC) has announced it might investigate possible war crimes, though did not provide any further details.
- Moscow has confirmed the Russian forces have seized full control of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant after fierce battles with the Ukrainian troops.
- In his video message to the Ukrainian people early Friday morning, President Volodymyr Zelensky said “sooner or later, Russia will have to talk to us about ending this military operation, about ending this invasion, and the sooner this conversation begins, the less Russia’s losses will be.”
Striking a defiant note even as Russian forces advance on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, Zelensky stated, “We are on our land, we have the truth, they cannot destroy our character. Russian ‘Kalibr’ missiles are helpless against our freedom.”
- The Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has claimed Russia attacked 33 civilian sites over the last 24 hours, according to Interfax news agency.
President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that 137 Ukrainians had been killed so far and 316 injured, as Russian troops embarked on the biggest attack by one country on another in Europe since the Second World War.
- President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed continued Russian aggression against his country showed that sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West were not enough.
The Ukrainian president added the world was continuing to observe what was going on in Ukraine from afar.
Zelensky has said Ukraine has been “left alone” to defend against the Russian invasion.
- Several thousand Ukrainians have crossed into neighbouring countries, mainly Moldova and Romania, while an estimated 100,000 have fled their homes and are uprooted in the country after Russia’s invasion, the U.N. refugee agency has confirmed.
- The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could unleash death and destruction on a scale that is “frightening to contemplate”.
“I fear increased suffering, with the potential of massive casualty numbers and extensive destruction of civilian objects like water and electricity plants, as well as mass displacement, trauma, family separation, and missing persons,” Peter Maurer said in a statement.
“The ICRC has seen many conflicts start and escalate in recent years, but too few of them end, and in each one, it is the civilian populations that bear the consequences,” he added.
Live coverage: Russia’s “Special Operation” in Ukraine
Russian forces are pressing ahead with their military operation in Ukraine to counter what they call a “threat” to their national security from the pro-West Ukrainian government. Kiev and Russia’s Western adversaries call the operations an “invasion”. The situation is fluid in Ukraine right now with both sides claiming victories on the battlefield. Iran Front Page brings you the latest developments on the ground live as they unfold in Ukraine.