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Putin ‘unleashes special forces with kill lists’ as Kyiv could fall in hours

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THE Ukrainian capital could fall within a matter of hours as Russian troops surround it, experts fear.

Kyiv – a thoroughly modern European city of nearly 3 million people – is bracing itself for gunfights on its streets before the end of the day as Vladimir Putin‘s forces gather on multiple sides of the city.

Yesterday Ukraine revealed it had provided over 100,000 weapons to locals willing to fight in resistance units against the Russian troops.

But even with the Ukrainian army supported by such street-fighting units, they are unlikely to outmatch Putin’s army – one of the best trained and equipped in the world.

The news comes amid reports Putin had unleashed Chechen special forces carrying “kill lists” with the names of Ukrainian officials.

Each soldier was reportedly given a special ‘deck of cards’ with Ukrainian officials’ photos and descriptions on them, a Moscow Telegram channel with links to the security establishment reported. 

The reports of Chechen troops being deployed has not been independently verified, but footage taken in Chechen capital Grozny appeared to show thousands of soldiers preparing for deployment.

Read our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up to the minutes updates…

  • Russia says it is not targeting Ukrainian civilians

    Russia has claimed its strikes on Ukraine are not targeting civilians. 

    The country’s foreign ministry said the strikes are aimed at military infrastructure, airfields, and aviation. 

    It comes after Russia claimed it is now in control of the Hostomel aerodrome near Kyiv. 

  • Pure evil

    THIS is the horrifying moment a rampaging tank totally crushed a car and then reversed over it again in Kyiv.

    The extraordinary footage has emerged amid clashes on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital during the Russian invasion.

    Shocking video – understood to have been taken in the Obolon district, five miles form the city centre – shows the armoured vehicle moving erratically through the streets of Kyiv.

    Onlookers rushed to help the driver of the vehicle, who photos show survived the savage attack.

  • Royal Navy destroyer sets sail to support Nato allies

    A Royal Navy destroyer has set sail to be on standby in the Mediterranean following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    HMS Diamond left Portsmouth Naval Base as part of the UK’s response to support Nato countries in eastern Europe.

    The Type 45 destroyer will join offshore patrol vessel HMS Trent in the eastern Mediterranean with four additional RAF Typhoon jets also being deployed to Cyprus to take part in Nato patrols in eastern Europe.

    Hundreds of troops have also been deployed to Estonia and Poland.

    Diamond has been deployed by the UK Government to be on standby in the Mediterranean in case it is required as part of a wider Nato force.

    It had originally been set to leave on February 17 but its departure was initially delayed by Storm Eunice with further delays caused by the warship requiring “minor repairs”.

    The problems meant that all of the navy’s £6 billion fleet of Type 45s were alongside at the same time, with four vessels in Portsmouth and two in Birkenhead.

  • Poland preparing to close airspace to Russian airlines

    Poland is preparing to close its airspace to Russian airlines, the country’s prime minister has confirmed. 

    Mateusz Morawiecki has said the government is getting an order ready to enforce the move, as the Czech Republic’s prime minister has said he intends on doing the same. 

  • Ukraine faces ‘very heavy and bloody occupation’

    Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky said the sanctions approved by the U.S., the EU and their allies will have an impact “in about three years” from now.

    Khodorkovsky said in a press conference that if the West had better leaders, Putin “wouldn’t feel so confident and safe”.

    “But there are no such leaders in the West,” he said.

    He also warned that Ukraine faces a “very heavy, hard, prolonged and bloody occupation.”

  • Ukrainian president praised the guards’ bravery on Snake Island

    Ukrainian soldiers killed while defending a tiny island in the Black Sea.

    The group refused to surrender to a Russian warship and held their ground before being killed in a bombardment of Snake Island.

    Ukrainian President Zelensky praised the guards’ bravery, saying they would all be posthumously awarded war hero honours.

    “On our island Zmiiny [Snake Island], defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically. But did not give up,” Mr Zelensky said.

    Footballer Igor Plastun also paid tribute to the soldiers.

    The Ukraine international said: “Heroes! You will never be forgotten” and “glory to the heroes of Ukraine” in a post on his Instagram account.

  • Brazil will support a resolution

    Brazil will support a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday, two sources close to the talks told Reuters.

    President Jair Bolsonaro, who recently met with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, scolded his Vice President Hamilton Mourao on Thursday for condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and said it was not Mourao’s job to speak about the crisis in eastern Europe.

    “We will support the Security Council resolution and we will condemn the invasion,” said one of the sources, who requested anonymity.

    “Russia broke the U.N. rules by invading another country. That fact cannot go without a condemnation,” the official said.

    Brazil’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday expressed concern about Russia’s military operations and urged a diplomatic solution, but did not condemn the invasion.

  • Russia says it has captured airport outside Kyiv

    News agency Interfax has reported that Russia’s military has blocked Kyiv from the western side, and captured the strategic Hostomel airport outside the capital.

    Ukrainian military vehicles were reported by Reuters to be entering Kyiv to defend the capital.

  • Moldovan tanker hit by missile

    A Moldovan flagged tanker has reportedly been hit by a missile near the Ukraine port of Odessa, according to Moldova’s Naval Agency. 

  • Russian forces ‘surround city of Chernihiv’

    Russia’s defence ministry says its forces have surrounded the city of Chernihiv, located about 150 km north of the capital Kyiv.

    “The blocking of the city of Chernihiv has been completed,” spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, in comments reported by the Russian news agency Interfax.

  • Pictured: Servicemen in fighting position in Ukraine

    A Ukrainian serviceman has been pictured lying on the ground at a fighting position in Kharkiv, Ukraine today.

    Meanwhile, also in Kharkiv, pictures shows destroyed military vehicles on the road, including a Russian Army multiple rocket launcher with the letter “Z” painted on its side.

    Ukrainian serviceman lies on the ground at a fighting position in Kharkiv
    Ukrainian serviceman lies on the ground at a fighting position in KharkivCredit: Reuters
    a destroyed Russian Army multiple rocket launcher with the letter "Z" painted on its side
    a destroyed Russian Army multiple rocket launcher with the letter “Z” painted on its sideCredit: Reuters
  • Home Office on visa support for Ukranians in the UK

    The UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has said that she will look at ordering ‘immediate changes’ to the visa policy, in order to privide certainty for Ukrainians in the UK

    In a post on LinkedIn, Patel wrote: “I have ordered immediate changes to our visa policy to provide certainty to our Ukrainian friends and colleagues living, working and studying in the UK.

    “We stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine amid this unprovoked and antidemocratic act of Russian aggression.”

  • Russia claims it has killed more than 200 Ukrainian troops

    Sky News have reported that they’ve had an update from Russia on its advancement through Ukraine. 

    Russia’s defence ministry has said it “eliminated” more than 200 people from Ukraine’s special units during the capture of Hostomel airfield, which is in a north-western suburb of Kyiv. 

  • Putin told China that Russia is willing to talk with Ukraine

    In a call on Friday, Vladimir Putin told China’s president Xi Jinping that Russia is willing to hold high level talks with Ukraine.

    Chinese state television CCTV reported that Putin told Xi:

    “The United States and NATO have long ignored Russia’s reasonable security concerns, repeatedly reneged on their commitments, and continued to advance military deployment eastward, challenging Russia’s strategic bottom line.

    “Russia is willing to conduct high-level negotiations with Ukraine.”

  • Pope visits Russian embassy

    The pope spent around half an hour in the Russian embassy where he expressed his concerns about war, the Vatican has announced.

    It is thought to be the first time the Pope has travelled to an embassy rather than accept ambassadors at the Vatican. 

  • Putin told China that Russia is willing to talk with Ukraine

    In a call on Friday, Vladimir Putin told China’s president Xi Jinping that Russia is willing to hold high level talks with Ukraine.

    Chinese state television CCTV reported that Putin told Xi:

    “The United States and NATO have long ignored Russia’s reasonable security concerns, repeatedly reneged on their commitments, and continued to advance military deployment eastward, challenging Russia’s strategic bottom line.

    “Russia is willing to conduct high-level negotiations with Ukraine.”

  • Kyiv entered ‘a defensive phase’

    The mayor of Kyiv says the Ukrainian capital has entered into “a defensive phase”, Reuters has reported.

    Following this, Russia has taken control of aerodrome near Kyiv and landed paratroops, according to the Russian defence ministry.

  • ‘The beginning of a war against Europe’

    Volodymyr Zelenskyy took to his Facebook to post the following statement:

    “The invasion of Russia into Ukraine is not just an invasion, it’s the beginning of the war against Europe. Against the unity of Europe. Against basic human rights in Europe. Against all rules of coexistence on the continent. Against the fact that European states refuse to divide borders by force.”

  • EU diplomats leave Kyiv

    The External Service, the EU diplomatic body, has announced to EU ambassadors at a meeting this morning that the EU delegation has had to leave Kyiv for security reasons.

    However, it will continue its work from Moldova, three diplomats say.

  • Increasing ‘the pressure on Russia’

    In a tweet, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to increase “the pressure on Russia.”

    “Not all possibilities for sanctions have been exhausted yet,” he said.

  • Up to ‘5 million Ukrainians could flee abroad’

    According to U.N. aid agencies, up to 5 million Ukrainians could flee abroad.

    So far, several thousands have already crossed into the neighboring countries of Moldova, Romania and Poland.

    U.N. Human Rights office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said that it had reports of at least 127 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 25 killed and 102 injured.

  • World Cup skiing events in Russia cancelled

    All the remaining World Cup skiing events in Russia this season have been cancelled or moved elsewhere following the invasion of Ukraine, the sport’s governing body FIS said on Friday.

    The move came after Norway, which finished top of the medals table in the just-completed Beijing Winter Olympics, and Sweden said they would not send teams to events in Russia.

    “After close consultation with its stakeholders, FIS has decided that in the interest of the safety of all participants and to maintain the integrity of the World Cup, that all remaining World Cup events scheduled to take place in Russia between now and the end of the 2021-22 season will be cancelled or moved to another location,” FIS said in a statement.



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