Kiev within reach of pro-Russian forces. Explosions took place at dawn. The situation can change at any time in the Ukrainian capital, and fighting is also happening elsewhere in Ukraine. Europe 1 correspondent Alexander Quéry is currently on site. In Europe Soir, he describes an increasingly tense situation since Friday morning. “We were woken up by Grad missiles coming from both Russia and Belarus,” he explains.
The main information to remember:
- Fighting is underway Friday in Kyiv
- Three conflict zones detected
- France to deploy troops to Romania as part of NATO
- General mobilization announced in Ukraine
Ongoing fighting elsewhere in Ukraine
Other fighting is also underway: “There is an attempt to advance by the Russians, especially in the east and south of Ukraine. There was very fierce fighting in Kharkiv in particular, and Mariupol”, informs the correspondent.
Mariupol is a city bordered by the Sea of Azov, a few kilometers from the border with Russia. “The Russian forces are having a hard time capturing the city, so they are ‘reduced’ to bombing,” says Alexander Quéry, who adds that the hottest and most problematic point is the corridor between Belarus and Kiev. “This allows Russian and Belarusian troops to return to Kiev. This is why there were already street fights north of the city (Friday) morning”, underlines the correspondent.
Also according to Alexander Quéry, the tension has risen a notch “since the administration of Kiev asked the inhabitants of the city to check the roofs of their buildings to check if there were no markings on the ground. ” It’s an aerosol because these kinds of signs have been appearing for two days and they realized that these are markings intended to help Russian soldiers land,” he explains.
Three areas of conflict
In reality, Ukraine suffered three offensives, to the north via Belarus, to the west via Donbass and to the south via Crimea. Friday morning, Moscow also announced that it had taken control of a canal that provides water supply to Crimea, east of the country’s second city, Kharkiv, which is resisting despite the bombardments. The photo of a missile planted in the ground without having exploded also turns on social networks. It would have been fired at an inhabited area.
[A LA UNE 18H]
Ukrainian forces fight Russian soldiers in the capital Kiev, on the second day of the invasion launched by Vladimir Putin. The Europeans have announced new sanctions #AFP 1/5 pic.twitter.com/XuKW7sS2iU
– Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) February 25, 2022
Ukrainian heroes tried to protect an island
A story testifies to the resistance of the inhabitants. On Thursday evening, on a small island in the Black Sea, Ukrainian soldiers who allegedly told their Russian counterparts who were asking them to surrender to go fuck themselves, were killed. The Russians attack by the seas with ships. At least 13 Ukrainian soldiers were defending Serpents’ Island, off the coast of Moldova.
The Ukrainians therefore refused to surrender, despite Russian warnings. Their last words were also recorded: “This is the Russian warship. I repeat, I suggest that you surrender and capitulate to prevent the blood of unnecessary victims from spilling. Otherwise, we will open fire. ” And the Ukrainians respond: “It’s the end. Should I tell them to go fuck themselves?” “Yes.” “Russian ship, fuck you!” These soldiers died under artillery fire. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky paid tribute to them, and hailed their heroism. They will all be decorated posthumously.
Kiev, dead city
After the flight of many inhabitants Thursday, the center of Kiev, strong capital in normal times of some three million inhabitants and now under curfew, looked like a ghost town. Armed and armored men were posted at the main crossroads near government buildings. Rare passers-by stopped to exchange the latest news, as sirens and explosions sounded in a cloud-laden sky.
“That night they started shelling civilian neighborhoods. It reminds us (the Nazi offensive) of 1941,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday morning in a video on social media, speaking the phrase in Russian, to the attention of the Russians.
Faced with the sanctions taken all over the world, Russia is taking some in turn. The Kremlin on Friday promised “symmetrical or asymmetrical” responses to the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia in reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The response measures will follow, of course,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “How symmetrical or asymmetrical they will be will depend on the analysis of the restrictions” imposed on Russia, he added.
Russia announced earlier on Friday that it was banning all UK-linked planes from its airspace after London imposed sanctions on Russian airline Aeroflot in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian airspace is barred to all aircraft “owned, leased or operated by anyone connected with Britain” and those registered there, Russian air regulator Rosaviatsia said in a statement.
Vladimir Putin spoke today to call on the Ukrainian military to overthrow the ruling power: “Once again, I call on the military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Do not let these Nazis in power use your children, your women and your old men as human shields You take the power in your hands But, it seems that it will be easier for us to reach an agreement than with this band of drug addicts, neo-Nazis who have taken everyone hostage. Ukrainian people”.
Vladimir Poutine had, until now, always refused the requests for talks. Today, he says he wants to send a delegation to Belarus to meet a Ukrainian delegation. “We are ready for negotiations,” said the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov. Provided, of course, that the Ukrainian forces lay down their arms.
137 Ukrainians were killed, says Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Friday the death of at least 137 of his fellow citizens since the start of the Russian invasion on Thursday morning. “137 heroes, our citizens” lost their lives, he said in a video address posted on the presidency’s website, adding that 316 other people on the Ukrainian side were injured in the fighting. The Ukrainian army has meanwhile claimed to have shot down five planes and a helicopter of the Russian army and to have killed around fifty “Russian occupiers” in the east of the country.
General mobilization in Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Friday the general military mobilization to counter the Russian invasion of the country, launched the same morning, according to a decree published on the website of the Ukrainian presidency. “We have received information that enemy sabotage groups have entered Kiev,” he said in a video address posted on the Ukrainian presidency’s account, calling on residents to be vigilant and respectful. curfew in effect.
Zelensky wants to stay in Kiev, France ready to “help him if necessary”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Thursday evening that he was staying in Kiev, threatened with assault by Russian troops. “I will stay in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine. According to information in our possession, the enemy has identified me as the number one target. And my family as the number two target,” he said. . He regretted that Ukraine was “left alone” by other countries in the face of the invasion.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday morning that the “security” of the Ukrainian president was at stake, and that France was ready to “help him if necessary”. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “sower of war” and the ongoing Russian offensive in Ukraine could also extend to Moldova and Georgia, the head of French diplomacy also estimated on Friday.
In an address to the nation this morning, the Ukrainian president appeared for the first time, his eyes drawn. “I’m target number one,” he said. And, a few moments ago, he again posted a video taken in selfie mode in the street, in front of the presidential palace, surrounded by four collaborators. Despite the advance of Russian troops, he said he was determined to defend himself. “Good evening everyone. This is the faction leader with the head of the president’s office. This is the prime minister and myself, the president. All of us, here with our military, with civil society, we are all defending the independence of our state”.
Putin calls on the Ukrainian army to rise up
President Vladimir Putin, while saying he is ready to send a delegation to the capital of his Belarusian ally, Minsk, for talks with Kiev, has called on the Ukrainian army to “seize power” and overthrow President Zelensky and his entourage, described as “neo-Nazis” and “drug addicts”.
Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are on the list of people sanctioned by the European Union. The Council of Europe has decided to “suspend” all participation of Russian diplomats and delegates in its main bodies “with immediate effect”. The OECD will close Russia’s accession process and will close its office in Moscow. France has said it is in favor of excluding Russia from the Swift banking system, a sanction that some countries such as Germany and Hungary are reluctant to take, fearing for their energy supply.
The Pope tweets in Russian
“Any war is a shameful capitulation,” denounced Pope Francis, in a tweet translated into several languages including Russian, an extremely rare occurrence. He went Friday morning to the Russian Embassy to the Holy See in Rome to “express his concern”.
France accelerates the deployment of soldiers in Romania
Emmanuel Macron announced Friday in Brussels that France was going to accelerate the deployment of soldiers in Romania within the framework of NATO, in response to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army. French President Emmanuel Macron deemed it useful to “leave the path open” for dialogue with Moscow to obtain a halt to his offensive in Ukraine, after having had a “frank, direct, rapid exchange” with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
100,000 people fled their homes in Ukraine
About 100,000 people have fled their homes in Ukraine, and several thousand more have left the country, the target since Thursday morning of a Russian military offensive, the UN said Thursday. Russia has taken control of the Chernobyl power plant, site of the worst nuclear accident in history in 1986, announced the Ukrainian presidency.