New Delhi: As Russian troops continued with their blitzkrieg on Ukraine Friday, and are fast approaching the capital city Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree that ordered broad-based mobilisation of all conscripts and reservists.
He also said that 137 people have been killed so far in attacks on Ukraine.
Reports from Ukraine said that multiple explosions have taken place in Kyiv as Russia launched a ‘special military operation’ from three sides Thursday for what it says is “demilitarisation” and regime change in the neighbouring country.
According to a report by Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russian forces were advancing north from Crimea, securing Kherson city, and on Kyiv from Belarus on both sides of the Dnipro River.
In an important development, Ukrainian forces defeated a Russian operation to isolate Kyiv from the west, recapturing the Hostomel military airport from Russian VDV (Airborne) troops after several counter attacks throughout the day.
The Ukrainian president has said that “saboteurs” have entered Kyiv and urged residents of the city to abide by the curfew.
Zelensky claimed he is the “number one target” of the enemy (Russia).
“They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state,” he said.
A NBC report, quoting an unnamed senior Pentagon official, said that it now believes Russian forces have lobbed more than 160 missiles into Ukraine.
The official added that the missiles are being launched from a mixture of ground and naval-based platforms.
ThePrint Thursday reported that the Russians are believed to be using the Smerch multiple rocket launching system besides the Kalibr cruise missiles which are fired from submarines and ships. The Russian are also firing the Iskander tactical ballistic missile.
Incidentally, the Russian troops have also captured the Chernobyl power plant, the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents.
The plant is located approximately 100 kilometres north of Kyiv. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the US was “outraged by credible reports” of hostages being held at the facility.
(Edited by Monami Gogoi)
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