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Missiles Rain Down on Kyiv as Russia's War Against Ukraine Enters Day Two

Around 1,00,000 Ukranian citizens have fled as explosions devastated Kyiv and other cities, Reuters reported.

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Edited By :Tejas Harad

Ukraine's capital Kyiv was battered by Russian missiles on Friday, 25 February, as Russia's war against Ukraine entered its second day.

Explosions and gunfire could be heard in Kyiv even before dawn, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to western nations to provide his country the wherewithal to defend itself, AP reported.

While Ukraine has claimed that over 2,800 Russian servicemen have been killed so far, Russian forces said that 200 Ukrainian personnel were killed during the capture of an airport outside Kyiv.

This comes after a full-scale military operation was launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday via land, air, and sea.

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As per reports, Kyiv was facing an imminent attack, as Ukrainian military said on Friday that Russian saboteurs were spotted around five kilometre away.

Ukraine also said that Russia was using the Gomel airfield in Belarus to prepare their troops to launch an all-out offensive against Kyiv, as per reports by Al Jazeera.

Russian Forces Advancing to Kyiv 50 km Away From Centre of Capital: UK Defence Report

Meanwhile, an intelligence report by the UK Ministry of Defence said, "Russian armoured forces have opened a new route of advance towards Kyiv having failed to capture Chernihiv. The bulk of Russian forces advancing on Kyiv remain more than 50 km from the centre of the city."

"Russia has made limited progress so far today and Ukraine holds control of key cities. Ukrainian MOD reports that Russian forces have arrived in the suburbs of Kyiv," a previous report had stated.

'Russia Has Bombed 33 Civilian Sites': Ministry Official

Russian forces have bombed more than 30 civilian sites since the beginning of their attack on Ukraine, the country’s interior ministry has said, according to a report by the Interfax news agency.

Vadym Denysenko, a ministry official, was quoted as saying, "The Russians say they are not striking civilian objects. But 33 civilian sites have been hit over the last 24 hours."

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba put out a tweet during the explosions on Friday, saying, "Horrific Russian rocket strikes on Kyiv. Last time our capital experienced anything like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany."

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Around 1,00,000 Ukrainian citizens have fled as explosions devastated the capital Kyiv and other cities, Reuters reported.

Russia's Defence Ministry said that it had destroyed a number of Ukrainian air bases since Thursday.

It said in a statement, "On 24 February, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation conducted a successful operation to land a paratroopers near the Gostomel airport in the suburbs of Kiev. More than 200 nationalists from special units of Ukraine were destroyed during the capture of the aerodrome."

Radiation Levels Top Control Levels at Russia-Captured Chernobyl

The Ukrainian government warned on Friday that radiation levels near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant site have “exceeded” control levels, as the Russian military confirmed it has captured the area but insisted that radiation levels remained “normal.”

"Experts of the Ecocenter connect this with disturbance of the top layer of soil from movement of a large number of radio heavy military machinery through the Exclusion zone and increase of air pollution," the authorities said in a statement.

'Ready for Talks': Zelenskyy to Putin

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to agree to negotiations to put an end to the fighting.

"I would like to address the president of Russia once again: Fighting is happening all over Ukraine. Let’s sit down for talks to stop deaths," he said during a televised address.

The Kremlin has, however, declined to comment on the possibility of talks between President Putin and President Zelenskyy, but acknowledged the latter’s willingness to discuss a possible neutrality pledge by Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Sidelining the prospects for talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, "Russia sees no chance of recognising a state that uses genocide against their own people as democratic."

He added that Moscow is interested in seeing the Ukrainian people independent.

Russia Suspended From Council of Europe

The Council of Europe said in a statement on Friday, "In line with the Statute of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers has today decided to suspend the Russian Federation from its rights of representation in the Committee of Ministers and in the Parliamentary Assembly with immediate effect as a result of the Russian Federation’s armed attack on Ukraine."

'Take Power Into Your Own Hands': Putin to Ukrainian Military

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Ukrainian military to take power into their hands, effectively asking them to throw off the government, Reuters reported.

"I once again appeal to the military personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine: do not allow neo-Nazis and (Ukrainian radical nationalists) to use your children, wives and elders as human shields," Putin said at a televised meeting with Russia's security council.

"Take power into your own hands, it will be easier for us to reach agreement," he added.

Russian President Putin further described the country's leadership as "terrorists" and "a gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis."

(With inputs from Al Jazeera, AP, Reuters, The Guardian and ANI)

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