Russians reach Kiev
The developments in the conflict surrounding Ukraine follow each other at lightning speed. In the coming period, our editors will therefore publish an overview of the most important events a few times a day. These are the biggest developments of Friday morning, February 25.
Featured: the three most important developments of this morning
- Russian army advances in Kiev
- Shots heard at government buildings
- EU to decide this afternoon on firm sanctions
Russia gathers troops in Belarus for attack on Kiev
Russia is rapidly advancing towards the Ukrainian capital Kiev. The Russian army gathers soldiers at the Gomel airport in Belarus for a major attack. That is what the chief of staff of the Ukrainian army says.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops are advancing from multiple directions towards Kiev, where the first units have already arrived. In an attempt to stop the Russian army, Ukrainian forces blew up a major bridge leading to the capital.
Russian troops have now reached the parliament district in the city. The district is named after the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada), which sits in the district. A CNN reporter in Kiev reports multiple clashes in the area, although it is unclear how many military personnel are involved.
Kharkiv mayor asks residents to go to shelters
Kiev is not the only major city under attack. Residents of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv have to move to air raid shelters, underground metro stations and cellars as soon as possible to shelter from Russian bombing. So says the mayor of the city.
Reuters news agency reports that loud bangs can be heard in the city. On Friday, the air raid sirens will sound in many Ukrainian cities because of attacks with, among other things, missiles.
The conditions for volunteers who want to join the Ukrainian armed forces are being relaxed. This is announced by the Ukrainian commander in chief Yuri Galushkin. According to him, Ukraine “needs all the help at the moment”. There is no longer an age restriction. Volunteers only need their passport and an identification code.
Russians reach Kiev
EU to decide on sanctions package on Friday afternoon
The international community reacts with horror at the rapid advance of the Russians. The United Kingdom assumes that Russia wants to take all of Ukraine, says British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. He added that the Russian military is currently failing in that plan.
Like the United Kingdom, France is convinced that Russia wants to occupy all of Ukraine. In addition, the French fear that Russia will soon invade Moldova and Georgia, says Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Moldova and Georgia, like Ukraine, are former Soviet republics. Moldova is located southwest of Ukraine and borders Romania. Georgia is located south of Russia, on the east coast of the Black Sea. The countries are not members of NATO.
UEFA moves Champions League final to Paris (Russians reach Kiev)
The Champions League final this season will not be played in the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, but in the Stade de France in Paris. UEFA decided during an emergency meeting on Friday that the Russian city is not allowed to organize the final battle, which is scheduled for May 28, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
UEFA also decided that no international matches will be played in Russia or Ukraine for the foreseeable future. In the short term, this has consequences for Spartak Moscow, which will play in the eighth finals of the Europa League in March, and the Russian national team.
The Russians would play against Poland in the semi-finals of the play-offs for a World Cup ticket in Moscow on March 24. It is not yet clear where that match will be played.
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