Explosions Reported in Kyiv, Ukraine Officials Say Russian Aircraft Downed

Explosions Reported in Kyiv, Ukraine Officials Say Russian Aircraft Downed
Night view of Kyiv as Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10 pm to 7 am in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 24, 2022. (Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

Explosions rocked Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv overnight while the country’s adviser to the interior minister has reported the downing of a Russian aircraft.

Explosions were reported in Kyiv around 3 a.m. Friday local time. Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba announced around 6 a.m. that the city endured “horrific Russian rocket strikes.”

“Last time our capital experienced anything like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany. Ukraine defeated that evil and will defeat this one. Stop Putin. Isolate Russia. Severe all ties. Kick Russia out of everywhete [sic],” he wrote.

Olexander Scherba, a Ukrainian diplomat who was the country’s ambassador to Austria 2014–2021, said on Twitter that at least “two heavy explosions” occurred in Kyiv and that cruise ballistic missile had hit the city. He later posted a video of an explosion in the sky, captioned: “Kyiv now… A drone or plane hit? A missile intercepted?”

Adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister Anton Gerashchenko said on Telegram that Ukraine’s air force shot down a Russian plane or drone, after which crashed in the Darnitsky district. This was what accounted for the explosions seen in the skies above Kyiv, he said.

It was unclear whether the aircraft was manned.

Wreckage from the explosion sparked a fire at a nine-story residential building, he added.

Scherba also posted images of the reported fire on Twitter.

At least 137 people had been killed and 316 were wounded since Russia launched its assault on the country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said about two hours prior to the reported explosions in Kyiv.

The invasion began early Thursday with a series of missile strikes, many on key government and military installations, quickly followed by a three-pronged ground assault.

Ukrainian and U.S. officials said Russian forces were attacking from the east toward Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city; from the southern region of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014; and from Belarus to the north.

Hours after the invasion began, Russian forces seized control of the now-unused Chernobyl plant and its surrounding exclusion zone after a fierce battle.

Zelensky said the government had information that “subversive groups” were encroaching on Kyiv, while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said late Thursday that Kyiv “could well be under siege.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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