Russian forces rain down on Ukraine’s aerial territory with airstrikes leaving three-building destroyed.
Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President’s office said on Friday that major Ukrainian cities including Dnipro and Lutsk are being “subjected to devastating blows”.
A local official said Russian forces launched an airstrike across Ukraine early Friday morning, hitting Kindergarten and a shoe factory building. A fire broke out and black smoke billowed through the air when one airstrike hit a shoe factory in Dnipro, in the east of the country.
Photos posted by Ukraine’s State Service of Emergencies showed flames, rubble, and battered buildings after the alleged attacks on the school and other buildings in Dnipro, according to Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko, two other airstrikes struck near nursery school and flat blocks.
At least one person was killed around 6 am in the district of Novokodatsky but the death toll remains unclear at the moment.
Dnipro had not suffered a major attack since Vladimir Putin sent his troops in two weeks ago, a high-precision, the long-range attack was also made on two military airfields in the Ukrainian cities of Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk overnight.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a video Friday that sought to motivate Ukrainians to keep fighting while briefing viewers on humanitarian corridors and European Union efforts to aid the country. When Russian troops moved toward Kyiv, Zelensky spoke defiantly outdoors.
Since the war began, he has posted dozens of videos and photos to social media to show that he remains in Ukraine, often from a secure location but sometimes from his office or the streets of Kyiv.
In one of his videos, he emphasized the need for Ukrainians to stand firm as they enter the 16th day of fighting. He said: “This is life; this is war; this is a struggle. Time is still needed; patience is still needed.”
Zelensky also characterized Russia as a “very stubborn enemy” and that Putin is gathering “reservists and conscripts,” as well as bringing in Syrian fighters. The president said that Syria “was destroyed in the same way as the invaders are destroying us now.”
This comparison was drawn as many are pointing out a double standard with the more extreme reaction Western countries are having toward the Ukraine crisis compared to those in countries with predominantly people of color, such as Syria.
Zelensky said many cities in Ukraine have been left without services such as electricity, heat, and/or water. Luckily, said the president, Ukraine’s “government officials have organized twelve humanitarian corridors, today, cargo with food, water, and medicine is already on the way.”
However, according to Zelensky, a stronger response by the EU is needed since sanctions will likely soon not be enough to deter the Kremlin.
He said: “If the invaders shoot and disrupt the rescue of people again, they will eventually receive such a response from the world that they themselves will need humanitarian corridors.”
The government accused Kremlin troops of shelling the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, despite being aware it contains an atomic facility.
Ukraine’s state regulator for atomic sites said the situation was under control but claimed Russia had committed an “act of nuclear terrorism”.
Kyiv is bracing for an onslaught after a 40-mile convoy of vehicles, tanks and artillery split up and fanned out into towns and forests nearby. New satellite photos from Maxar Technologies appear to show artillery pieces raised into firing positions in a potentially ominous movement of the Russian military.
Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv mayor, said the capital has become practically a fortress protected by armed civilians. He said: “Every street, every house… is being fortified. Even people who in their lives never intended to change their clothes, now they are in uniform with machine guns in their hands.”
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