Russian forces have launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, killing 137 people on the first day, as they pushed in from multiple directions. Multiple Ukrainian cities and villages were shelled, attacked with missiles, helicopters, tanks and ships, while ground forces have begun invading multiple parts of the country.
The following is a live blog of the Russian attacks on the second day of the invasion, Feb. 25. (See the first day here).
Kyiv: A series of loud explosions is reported by locals in Kyiv’s Obolon (near the Heroiv Dnipra metro station) and Troeyshchyna areas.
The attack might have targeted a combined power and heating plant in Troyeshchyna. Five explosions confirmed near Kyiv’s Heat Power Plant-6, accord to Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast: A Russian missile hit a school building in Mariupol. The building was empty, no casualties reported.
Cherkasy: Air raid alert sounded in Cherkasy. Air strikes are expected in the city within the next one or two hours, says the head of the Oblast State Administration Oleksandr Skichko. The city turned off the street lights.
Odesa: Locals report continuous gunfire in the downtown of Odesa.
Kharkiv: Kharkiv residents are strongly advised to stay in shelters. The city is being shelled from many directions. Russian forces are moving from the Russian border.
Kyiv Oblast: Severe fights continue in Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin directions. In Bucha Ukrainian army forces stopped a column of armored vehicles. Russian soldiers abandoned the vehicles and retreated.
Ukrainian soldiers are fighting the attack of Russians in the Vyshgorod direction, north of Kyiv. Vyshgorod is one of the closest Kyiv satellite towns. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to get from Vyshgorod to the northern Kyiv by car.
A few villages in Kyiv Oblast, close Vyshgorod, were shelled. Four civilians were killed and 15 more injured. The information was confirmed by Kyiv Oblast Administration.
Poltava Oblast: A Russian helicopter shelled a column of Ukrainian armored vehicles near Pyryatyn on the Kharkiv-Kyiv highway. Four people were injured in an incident, all of them taken to a local hospital in Pyryatyn.
Kharkiv: Kharkiv Aviation Plant, in the center of the city was shelled by сluster rocket runways. Three cadets of the National Guard were injured.
Kharkiv is being shelled by volley fire systems Hrad from inside the city: one residential district to another.
Kherson: The Ukrainian Army lost control of the Dnipro River crossing in the southern city of Kherson after a severe battle that lasted for hours. The Russian forces are moving forward. The city of Kherson is still controlled by Ukraine.
Kyiv Oblast: Russian militants in black uniforms with red sleeve stripes seized control over a residential complex in Bucha, Kyiv’s satellite town. They broke the locks, then changed into civilian clothes and went into the nearby forest.
Kharkiv Oblast: Russian missiles hit two multi-story residential buildings in Kharkiv. Windows were broken from a strike in both buildings, and a gas pipeline was damaged.
A high pressure gas pipeline was damaged during another shelling in Kharkiv Oblast, in Izum district. According to the Kharkivgas state company, more than 500 families in Oskil village and a psychoneurological boarding school nearby are left without gas supply.
More than 200 families in two more villages in Kharkiv Oblast are in the same situation due to a damaged medium pressure gas pipeline.
Chernihiv: Two missiles hit an SBU building in Chernihiv. The building is on fire. The information was confirmed by Chernihiv Oblast’s State Emergency Service.
A missile hit one of Ukraine’s biggest grain elevators (stotages) in Zhytomyr Oblast. The storage is on fire.
Black Sea: A Russian ship hit two foreign sea vessels near Pivdennyi (Southern) port - Romania’s bunker ship “Millenium Spirit” and Panama’s “NAMURA QUEEN.” The latter was heading to the port to load grain. A fire tug ship “P&O STAR” came to the rescue.
Interior Ministry's spokesman Vadym Denysenko said that Ukraine eliminated all the sabotage groups in Kyiv. Ukraine’s military vehicles enter the city to provide additional support to the local forces. According to Denysenko, 18 thousand weapons were distributed among volunteers who joined Territorial defense in Ukraine’s capital.
Sumy Oblast: Okhtyrka, a small town in Sumy Oblast shelled by a Hurricane missile system. The missiles hit a storage facility and a kindergarten. One person died, 8 people, including 3 children, were heavily injured. The information is confirmed by the Sumy military administration. Okhtyrka is one of Ukraine’s gas centers.
Kyiv Oblast: The Russian army shelled an orphanage in Vorzel presumably from volley fire systems Hrad, according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova. There were 50 children in the building at the moment. Vorzel is a small town near Kyiv, with just over 6,000 residents.
Kharkiv Oblast: Ukraine’s fighter jet Mig-29 shot down Russia’s Su-35 in the sky over Kharkiv Oblast.
Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast: Heavy fighting in Mariupol continues. According to the city’s mayor Vadym Boychenko battles go on in all directions. He says, Russians cannot take the city, so they bomb civil infrustructure instead.
Rivne: An air raid alert was declared in Rivne.
Kyiv: In Kyiv’s northern Obolon district a Russian tank ran over a civilian car with a driver in it – twice and apparently on purpose. The video of the incident went viral. The driver, a senior man, survived.
Chernihiv Oblast: Units of Ukraine's North Operational Command destroyed 20 Russian tanks in Chernihiv oblast. The units also destroyed a Russian vehicle column moving on Chernihiv, with 10-15 vehicles destroyed, according to the Verkhovna Rada's Telegram channel.
Mariupol: Mariupol mayor Vadim Boychenko confirmed that the stronghold city of Mariupol is under attack. "Today we aren't just defending our land but the land of all of Ukraine, today we defend Europe."
Taras Dzyuba, a Ukrainian expert on countering disinformation, posted an image of a burnt-out, partly demolished residential building with all its windows blown out and its balconies falling apart, saying that the photo was taken in Kyiv. If true, it would mean that Russian forces are hitting civilian targets.
Obolon residents have been urged to stay in their homes unless an air raid siren sounds. This seems to contradict the Interior Ministry's earlier encouragement to go out and stop or slow down the attackers.
The previously surrounded city of Konotop in Sumy Oblast has fallen to the Russians, military sources confirmed.
Air raid sirens were activated in Rivne.
A rocket fired at a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv failed to explode.
The mayor of Mariupol said there are recon and sabotage elements already in the city, one of whom has been caught. Fighting is ongoing in Pavropil district.
Meanwhile, tanks are advancing towards Mariupol.
The Ministry of Interior released a diagram telling people how to make Molotov cocktails. It's also instructing people to block the advance of Russian vehicles using cars or just by coming out and filming them on their phones.
Russian armored vehicles drove over a civilian car, which reportedly had a person inside it. A video uploaded to a Telegram channel showed people trying to pull the driver out.
Sirens are blaring again in Kyiv.
Shooting has been reported in or near the government quarter in central Kyiv by witnesses. Top Ukrainian officials believe that the Russians' target may be the head of state. President Volodymyr Zelensky remains in Kyiv.
A long line of vehicles is trying to pull out of Kyiv heading West. Meanwhile, people who remain are standing near bomb shelters as intermittent sirens and explosions are occasionally heard.
Evacuation buses en route to pick up people from the town of Shchastya in Luhansk Oblast came under Grad rocket fire, the head of the district administration Serhiy Haiday wrote on Facebook.
A huge explosion rocked Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, 40 kilometers from the Russian border. NBC reported that the residents have been hiding in bomb shelters and life has largely ground to a halt.
Russian forces have reportedly entered Obolon, one of the capital city's outlying districts. Journalists on Twitter reported fighting there. According to a government Telegram channel, recon elements have been spotted in the area. Citizens were urged to "make Molotov cocktails" and defeat the enemy.
Russian saboteurs who captured Ukrainian armored personnel carriers and dressed in the uniforms of Ukrainian soldiers have been apprehended and shot, according to Anton Herashchenko, adviser to the Minister of Interior.
Fighting reportedly took place in the city of Melitopol in Zaporizhia oblast, with Russian forces trying to take a Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) building.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russian forces are trying to go around Chernihiv and attack the capital, after an earlier attempt to take Chernihiv was unsuccessful.
Sirens have been activated in central Kyiv after several explosions could be heard in the vicinity.
Sirens were also activated in the Western city of Lviv.
A missile strike hit the airport in the city of Rivne but caused no serious damage, according to the mayor.
Additional multiple rumbling sounds heard not far from center of Kyiv.
Russia’s plan to seize Kyiv, according to Ukrainska Pravda intelligence sources: intensify attacks along the border, so troops leave Kyiv. Seize one of Kyiv’s airports, as saboteurs disconnect the city from electricity and communications, and organize arson and looting to create more panic. The plan would also entail a cyber attack on government websites, followed by inducing more panic to create "uncontrolled columns of refugees'' from Kyiv to block highways and hinder movement of Ukrainian troops.
Then, Russian forces would try to capture and hold government buildings. Their desired goal is to seize the leadership of the state (whom that is is not specified) and force them to sign a peace agreement on Russian terms, threatening large civilian deaths. Even if part of the country's leadership is evacuated, some pro-Russian politicians will be able to "take responsibility" and sign documents, citing the "escape" of the political leadership from Kyiv. The end result would be a partition of Ukraine, like East and West Germany.
The Biden administration has warned Russian forces are about 32 kilometers away from Kyiv. The officials say those are Russian mechanized forces that had entered Ukraine through Belarus.
Shelling in the city of Starobilsk caused six apartment buildings to ignite. Contact has been lost with the city's first responders.
Several loud explosions were heard near central Kyiv.
Two residential buildings in Kyiv are on fire from intercepted unidentified enemy aircraft. Three people were injured, one in critical condition, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, there is a risk of collapse. Buildings that were hit by the debris are on 7A Koshytsia Street.
The Russian military has established road checkpoints on Kyiv-Sumy highway. Russian troops are checking documents.
The city of Konotop in Sumy Oblast has been encircled by Russian forces, according to the head of the Sumy administration. Multiple cities in Sumy are under siege.
A large military force is now moving towards Kyiv.
Ukraine's Center for Strategic Communications gave the following update.
As of midnight, Ukrainian forces are conducting an organized defense in the south and have engaged in defensive battles east of Kherson. Ukraine's mechanized forces reportedly defeated Russians in Rykovo district.
In Volyn, mechanized units have taken position on certain borders.
Combat is ongoing in Dovzhanka, Kharkiv, Okhtyrka and Sumy. Defensive engagements are also being conducted in Volchansk, Bily Kolodets and Prykolotno in Kharkiv oblast.
The navy is engaged in the south-western part of the Black Sea, defending Ukraine's important ports, including Odesa and Chornomorsk.
Meanwhile more forces have been moved in to defend Kyiv.