Ukraine’s army said Friday it was fighting invading Russian forces north of the capital Kyiv, as Moscow pressed on with its advance on the pro-Western country for a second day. Russian forces reached the outskirts of Kyiv on Friday, with the government saying the city was hit by “horrific rocket strikes” in the early hours.
“Airborne assault troops of the Ukrainian armed forces are fighting in the areas of the settlements of Dymer and Invankiv,” Kyiv’s army said on its Facebook page. Dymer is around 45 kilometres (28 miles) north of Kyiv, while Ivankiv is about 60 kilometres northwest of the Ukrainian capital.
The military said it had stopped advancing Russian forces at the Teteriv River, a tributary of the Dnieper River that flows through Kyiv, adding that a bridge over it was destroyed.
The army also said it had retaken the Gostomel airfield, with reports that it had been captured by Russian forces the day before.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that Moscow’s forces were also targeting civilian areas and praised his countrymen for their “heroism”.
“They say that civilian objects are not a target for them. But this is another lie of theirs. In reality, they do not distinguish between areas in which they operate,” Zelensky said in a video.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a military operation against Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday, confirming widespread fears Moscow was planning to invade its western neighbour.