Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russian forces of attacking kindergartens Friday in their attempt to overthrow his regime.
Zelensky, 44, spoke Friday as he continues to defend his country and his regime from Russian forces for the third straight day.
‘What kind of war is being led against Ukrainian children in kindergartens? Who are they?’
Zelensky, a former actor, used some of the rhetoric the Russians have used to justify their invasion against them.
‘Are they also neo-Nazis from kindergartens? Or are they NATO soldiers that put Russia in danger?’ he asked.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian forces of attacking kindergartens Friday in their attempt to overthrow his regime
A child on a swing outside a residential building damaged by a missile
His words came after photos surfaced of nurseries and kindergartens that the Russians had destroyed on Friday as the invasion continues.
One particularly horrifying clip posted to Twitter via drone footage showed visible slides and sandboxes as missiles flew buy.
It was shared by a Ukrainian lawmaker, who wrote: ‘In a town Okhtyrka Russian missiles hit kindergarten and bomb shelter. Among dead and injured are children. What else Russian fascists should do for NATO to wake up and defend Ukraine?!’
Two adults are shown, apparently lying in puddles of blood, with others crouched alongside.
This came following the bombing of a hospital Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called ‘beyond evil’.
‘Consider this: Putin has launched a massive war of aggression in Europe during a still raging pandemic,’ he added.
Video showing aftermath of a shelling against a kindergarten in Okhtyrka in Eastern Ukraine
A residential building damaged by a missile
– A man clears debris at a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on February 25, 2022
Ukraine’s armed forces were engaged in a fierce battle for Kyiv on Friday night, with footage on social media showing explosions close to a metro station in the western center of the capital by the zoo; a battle ongoing for control of a thermal power plant to the north; and multiple reports suggesting fierce fighting 20 miles south, near a vital airbase.
In Kyiv, footage shared on social media showed a bombardment close to Beresteiska metro station, in the west of the city, which is near the zoo.
More than 50 explosions and heavy machine gun fire were reported in the district of Shulyavka, near Beresteiska metro and the zoo, according to The Kyiv Independent.
A bridge near the metro was blown up, according to reports. It was unclear whether the explosion was caused by artillery or by Ukrainian forces intent on stopping the Russian advance.
The district is under the control of the 101st Independent Security Brigade of the General Staff.
Terrified residents posted videos filmed from their apartments, with flashes of light and the sound of gunfire. One video shared on social media showed an apartment building glowing with red lights, which some speculated was to guide bombers or snipers. Others said the lights were to warn the military not to bomb them.
The northern suburb of Troieshchyna was also coming under sustained attack for another night, as Russia tried to wrest control of the thermal power plant on the banks of the Dnieper river. Unconfirmed reports suggested dozens of Russians had been arrested.
By 5:30am in Kyiv (10:30pm Eastern), Ukraine’s armed forces were claiming that the advance from the west had been repelled.
But a CNN crew in Kyiv reported the sounds of heavy gunfire and what appeared to be anti-aircraft fire.
Ukraine’s government said earlier on Friday night that they had shot down two Russian military transport planes carrying paratroopers on the outskirts of Kyiv.
The first IL-76 came down near Vasylkiv, 20 miles south of Kyiv, the Ukrainian military said.
The second IL-76 was shot down near Bila Tserkva, 50 miles south of the capital, Nexta reported.
The fate of those onboard was unclear. The aircrafts – medium-range military transport aircraft, which first went into service in 1974 – can hold 150-225 fully-equipped soldiers, and is used to drop paratroopers into combat and resupply arms.
The town of Vasylkiv appeared, at 3am local time (8pm Eastern), to be a focus of heavy fighting to the south.
Nexta, a local media network, reported that Russians ‘dressed in uniform of the Ukrainian national police’ attacked a checkpoint near Vasylkiv, shooting at Ukrainian soldiers.
‘Immediately after that a group of Russian military in a truck came in. There is a heavy fight going on,’ the site reported.
New satellite images showed the build up of troops to the north, in Belarus.
The photos showed approximately 150 transport helicopters and ground troops 20 miles from the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, in southern Belarus.
Not long after the first troop carrier was shot down, Ukraine’s State Agency for Special Communications said that Ukraine’s air defense had downed a Russian close-support aircraft and a helicopter in Donbas.
A S-300 surface-to-air missile system destroyed a Russian Sukhoi Su-25 jet and an unspecified helicopter at midnight, they said.
The Russian Air Force currently operates around 250 Su-25s of all variants, and they are considered a staple of Russian ground-attack regiments.
Opposition was growing in Russia to the carnage in Ukraine.
Communist MP Mikhail Matveev said: ‘I think that the war should be stopped immediately.
‘When I voted for the recognition of the DPR / LPR, I voted for peace, not for war.
‘For Russia to become a shield, so that the Donbas was not bombed, but not for Kyiv to be bombed.’
The onslaught came shortly after Ukraine’s president warned that the Russians intend to take Kyiv overnight, urging his countrymen to resist the expected onslaught as Western officials say the city appears surrounded.
Volodymyr Zelensky, addressing the nation from a secret location in the capital, had a dire warning for his embattled and defiant people on Friday night.
‘Russia will try to break our resistance with all its might,’ he said, in a video posted to social media.
‘Tonight the enemy will begin storming us. We need to withstand them!’
Smoke and flames are seen billowing over Kyiv’s Victory Avenue in the west of the city, near the zoo, in the early hours of Saturday morning
The Ukrainian armed forces tweeted in the early hours of Saturday that the attack from the west, near the city’s zoo, had been repressed, stating: ‘Russian war criminals attacked one of the military units in Kyiv on Victory Avenue. The attack was repulsed’
Kyiv was in flames in the early hours of Saturday
Significant explosions were seen from Beresteiska metro station in the west of Kyiv
Zelensky said that Chernihiv, Symy, Kharkiv, Donbas, and the south could also come under attack.
‘This night will be difficult, very difficult. But the morning will come,’ he said, according to The Kyiv Independent.
The 44-year-old referenced the Russian shelling of a kindergarten in Ukraine that killed at least one child and injured more, saying: ‘What kind of war is that? Were these children neo-Nazi? Or were they NATO soldiers?’
Vitali Klitschko, the former world champion heavyweight boxer who is now the mayor of Kyiv, said his city faces a ‘difficult night’.
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