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Hereʼs what you need to know about first days of Russiaʼs war against Ukraine

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Russiaʼs President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 24 at 5 a.m. declared war on Ukraine, calling it «a special military operation» to protect Russia from NATO. Russian forces launched a land, sea and air invasion and started shelling Ukraineʼs cities, including in Kyiv Oblast

Mar. 1

10:30 p.m. The International Court of Justice will hold public hearings in the case concerning genocide in The Hague on 7-8 March.

08:35 p.m. The air alarm siren sounded 12 times (from 6 am to 8 pm) in Kyiv today. In Kharkiv – 10 times, in Chernihiv – 6.

08:26 p.m. BMW stops production of its cars in Kaliningrad and stops deliveries to the Russian market — The Wall Street Journal.

08:23 p.m. The two largest maritime container carriers MSC and Maersk have stopped shipping to and from Russia. They account for 34% of the global container shipping market, according to Reuters.

08:15 p.m. Poland, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, and Turkey will allow Ukrainian trucks without special permits for international transportation, said Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.

08:10 p.m. Nord Stream-2 has declared bankruptcy, according to a Swiss broadcaster.

08:05 p.m. President Zelensky commented on Russiaʼs shelling in the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial and a TV tower in Kyiv: «Why we repeat «never again» for 80 years and, when the bomb explodes in Babyn Yar, the world remains silent? Five more lives were lost».

08:02 p.m. Zelensky: Russia must stop bombing Ukrainian cities before meaningful ceasefire talks can be held.

07:57 p.m. Ukraine received another batch of NLAW and Javelins. This was reported by the Operational Command North and the General Staff of the Armed Forces.

07:50 p.m. About 300 Belarusian tanks are parked near the border with Ukraine. They have not crossed the border yet, stationed on the highway Pinsk–Ivanovo–Dorogichyn (about 30 kilometers from the state border of Belarus). Russia is preparing a provocation to justify the entry of Belarusian troops into Ukraine, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.

07:35 p.m. Self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has asked Vladimir Putin to supply Belarus with the S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile system and other military equipment.

07:20 p.m. The government establishes state regulation of prices on basic foods, said the head of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy Roman Leshchenko

07:17 p.m. Poland is waiting for the arrival of one million refugees from Ukraine, Zbigniew Rau, minister of foreign affairs of Poland.

06:42 p.m. The European Parliament has recommended that Ukraine be granted EU candidate status.

06:28 p.m. Two missiles hit and set on fire a building next to the TV tower in Kyiv. The fire has been extinguished. Five people were killed and five injured. Ukraine has already resumed digital broadcasting on eight channels. This TV tower is located near Babi Yar, a ravine in Kyiv and a site of mass killings by Nazi Germanyʼs forces during World War II.

Hereʼs what you need to know about first days of Russiaʼs war against Ukraine /Фото 1

TV tower in Kyiv

06:18 p.m. Ukraine has received another supply of weapons: dozens of anti-tank guided short-range missiles NLAW and portable anti-aircraft missile systems Javelin.

04:21 p.m. The Russian army shelled residential areas in Mariupol. As a result of the military attack, several houses and a school were damaged.

04:20 p.m. Russian invaders are exposed to significant external and internal radiation in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, according to the state-owned nuclear giant Energoatom.

03:55 p.m. In Kharkiv, a Russian shell hit the cityʼs hospital. Doctors, patients, and medical staff are safe. The number of victims is currently being determined.

03:16 p.m. Ukrainian Railways is now using Elon Muskʼs Starlink internet. Yesterday, on Feb. 28, Starlink hardware arrived in Ukraine. Elon Musk activated the internet service in Ukraine after minister of digital transformation Mykhailo Fedorov asked him about it on Twitter.

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03:10 p.m. An Indian student was killed in Kharkiv shelling, according to the Indian Foreign Ministry. Indiaʼs foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is calling in ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to create an urgent safe passage for the Indian nationals so that they can return home.

12:05 a.m. As of March 1, Russia lost over 5,700 troops, 29 planes, 29 helicopters, 198 tanks, 77 artillery pieces, 846 armored personnel carriers, 2 boats, 305 cars, 60 fuel tanks, 3 UAV and 7 anti-aircraft warfare.

11:57 a.m. Belarusian troops have entered Ukraine’s Chernihiv Oblast to assist Russia in its war against Ukraine. Earlier on March 1, the self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that he has no plans to take part in Russiaʼs war against Ukraine.

10:30 a.m. Starting March 1, Kyiv prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol must be removed from store shelves.

10:00 a.m. Ukraine has introduced a temporary visa-free regime for foreigners who want to join the Ukrainian army.

09:17 a.m. A powerful explosion erupted on Independence Square in central Kharkiv at 8:30 a.m. on March 1. It happened in front of the headquarters of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration.

As a result of the shelling, six people were injured, including a child. The death toll is still unknown.

Over the last 24 hours, Kharkiv Emergency Service has extinguished 24 fires caused by the shelling.

09:00 a.m. Russian forces shelled a rehabilitation center of the Ukrainian Ministry of Veterans Affairs in the village of Borodyanka, Kyiv Oblast. This shelling is «a violation of international humanitarian law and an act of violence that will be punished,» said Ukraine’s Minister for Veteran Affairs Yulia Laputina.

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07:11 a.m. Students of Ukrainian schools help organize cyberattacks on Russian government websites and state media. Even fifth graders carry out DDoS attacks on Russian websites.

07:05 a.m. The U.S. doesnʼt want to make Ukraine a no-fly zone for Russian flights, saying U.S. participation in such a move would be tantamount to a direct conflict with Moscow, which Washington doesnʼt want, according to White House spokesperson Jen Psaki.

«A no-fly zone would require deploying U.S. military to enforce, which would be… potentially a direct conflict, and potentially a war with Russia,» she said.

07:00 a.m. The whole world supports Ukraine: people are protesting, sending money, condemning the war on social media. Writers Margaret Atwood and Stephen King are among them.

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Маргарет Етвуд і Стівен Кінг (Фото: Twitter)

06:48 a.m. A shell hit a private maternity hospital, Adonis, near Kyiv. It caused great damage but didnʼt destroy the building. Patients and employees were evacuated.

06:40 a.m. Russian shelling of a military unit in Okhtyrka, Sumy Oblast, killed at least 70 Ukrainian soldiers.

06:30 a.m. Ukraine to receive 70 fighter jets from the European Union. Bulgaria will provide 16 MiG-29s and 14 Su-25s, Poland will provide 28 MiG-29 units, and Slovakia – 12 MiG-29s.

06:20 a.m. Over 500,000 refugees have fled Ukraine amid Russia’s war, according to the UN Refugee Agency. At least 160,000 are now internally displaced.

06:00 a.m. Disney stops releasing films in Russia given the «unprovoked invasion of Ukraine». The company also condemns Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine.

04:51 a.m. Western countries have provided thousands of units of lethal weapons and $340 million in aid to Ukraine in just one day.

04:44 a.m. Taiwan will block some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payment system; the country has also has sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

03:22 a.m. As a result of the intense shelling in Kharkiv on Feb. 28, nine people were killed and 37 wounded, including three children.

03:10 a.m. Ukrainian mobile operators have blocked access to the cellular networks for all Russian numbers.

02:45 a.m. Mariupol is under control of the Ukrainian army, but the city was left almost without electricity as a result of an air raid.

03:26 a.m. The Russians began storming Kherson, according to the State Special Communication Service. Mayor Igor Kolykhayev called the situation in the city difficult, but assured that Kherson remains Ukrainian and keeps the defense.

03:22 a.m. Results of the shelling of Kharkiv: 9 killed and 37 wounded — Mayor Igor Terekhov. According to the regional state administration, the death toll reached 11.

03:10 a.m. Mobile operators have blocked access of phones with Russian numbers to their networks, the State Special Communications Service said.

02:45 a.m. Mariupol is under the control of the Ukrainian army, but the city was left almost without electricity as a result of an air raid — the mayor Vadym Boychenko.

02:00 a.m. Russia suspended from international football and ice hockey.

FIFA and UEFA have decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice. Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine, the official statement says.

On the same day, during an extra-ordinary meeting held on Monday, 28 February, the IIHF Council evaluated the impact of the current war. The IIHF strongly condemns the use of military force and urges the use of diplomatic means to solve the conflict. The IIHF Council has decided to take the following actions:

  • Suspension of all Russian and Belarusian national teams and clubs from participation in every age category and in all IIHF competitions or events until further notice;
  • Withdrawal of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship hosting rights from Russia.
  • Football and hockey are the two most popular sports in Russia and Belarus.

Today, Feb. 28

05:56 p.m. President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for Ukraineʼs membership in the European Union.

05:17 p.m. Due to the war, 316 settlements and 332,000 Ukrainians were left without electricity and nearly 12,000 Ukrainians were left without gas, according to the Ministry of Energy.

05:16 p.m. The NBU has appealed to the ambassadors of the G7 countries, the heads of their central banks, as well as European banks and representatives of the Western Union, to stop the supply of cash and foreign currency to Russian and Belarusian banks.

05:10 p.m. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke separately to Russian President Vladimir Putin and then to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The call with Putin lasted an hour and 30 mins, according to the Élysée Palace. Macron called on Putin to stop strikes on civilians, critical infrastructure and major roads in Ukraine. Putin has promised to do so.

04:08 p.m. YouTube has blocked Russian propaganda channels in Ukraine, including «First Channel», «Russia 24» and «Russia 1», TASS, «RIA Novosti», RBC, «Zvezda TV Channel».

04:04 p.m. Hungary will not send troops or weapons to Ukraine and will not allow lethal weapons to transit its territory, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday during a visit to Kosovo.

03:40 p.m. Over 500,000 refugees have already fled Ukraine, twitted Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

03:39 p.m. The curfew in Kyiv is from 08:00 p.m. to 07:00 a.m.

03:27 p.m. Kharkiv has been under intense shelling at about 3 p.m. on Feb. 28. «Dozens of people are dead and hundreds wounded,» wrote Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the interior minister.

02:55 p.m. Ukrainian retailers have problems with logistics. «Cars canʼt go to where the fighting is taking place, and move slowly through numerous checkpoints,» said spokesman of Ukraineʼs largest supermarket chain ATB Serhiy Demchenko. People are waiting in long lines in front of local supermarkets.

Starting on Feb. 28, ATB decided to limit the sale of social goods: for example, one customer could buy only two units of bread, cereals, sugar, salt, pasta and oil.

02:53 p.m. Ukrainian defenders of Zmiinyi Island in the Black Sea, presumed dead in a Russian bombardment, are alive and held captive, according to the Ukrainian navy.

03:03 p.m. Ukrainian postal service Ukrposhta has resumed work of almost all of its branches.

01:00 p.m. Global IT community collected millions of dollars to offer Russian soldiers 5 million rubles in cryptocurrency for surrendering to the Ukrainian army.

12:43 a.m. Zelensky plans to release prisoners with combat experience. He said it was a difficult moral choice but necessary for the country’s defense. The prisoners will be fighting in the hottest spots, according to him.

11:43 a.m. Ukraineʼs largest telecom operator Kyivstar blocked all text messages from Russia and Belarus. In recent days, its subscribers started to receive a large number of spam messages «with inaccurate information.»

11:33 a.m. Ukrainian tech specialists hacked the website of the Moscow Stock Exchange. They said it took them 5 minutes. They also took down the website of the Russian Federal Security Service.

11:13 a.m. Russiaʼs central bank raised its key interest rate from 9.5% to 20% on Monday, Feb. 28, in an emergency move. Authorities told export-focused companies to be ready to sell foreign currency as the rouble tumbled to record lows.

11:10 a.m. Russia’s casualties as of Feb. 28:

  • 5,300 troops (to be confirmed)
  • 816 armored combat vehicles
  • 291 cars
  • 191 tanks
  • 60 fuel tanks
  • 29 planes
  • 29 helicopters
  • 74 artillery pieces
  • 21 Grad rocket launchers
  • 5 anti-aircraft warfare
  • 2 vessels
  • 3 drones
  • 1 Buk missile system.

11:02 a.m. Ukraine asks the European Union for membership under a new special procedure. «We are grateful to our partners for being with us. But our goal is to be with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be equal. Iʼm sure thatʼs fair. Iʼm sure itʼs possible,» Zelensky said.

11:00 a.m. In the last four days, 16 Ukrainian children have been killed and 45 wounded in Russian shelling.

10:57 a.m. Ukrainian delegation has arrived at the border with Belarus for peace talks with Russia. The main topic of the negotiations is an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of (Russian) troops from Ukraine.

10:00 a.m. Kharkiv introduces a curfew starting from 03:00 p.m. on Feb. 28 to 06:00 a.m. March 1.

09:00 a.m. Mariupol and Volnovakha remain the hottest spots in Donetsk Oblast. The battles are ongoing for these cities, according to the military.

09:29 a.m. Facebook uncovers disinformation and hacking campaigns targeting Ukraine. Their main goal was to undermine trust in the Ukrainian government and hack Ukrainian military officials and journalists using its platform.

09:03 a.m. Kharkiv is under Ukrainian control. Ukrainian troops repulsed all attacks last night.

08:23 a.m. Berdyansk, a port city in Zaporizhia Oblast, is occupied by Russian troops. Enemy equipment is observed in various communities. In the evening, local residents reported that Russian military personnel raided local houses searching for phones.

One person was killed and another was injured in the Russian attack. The Berdyansk police department was disbanded. The city authorities refused to cooperate with the occupiers. Some utilities are working, but public transport has stopped. 

07:37 a.m. The situation in Kyiv is under Ukrainian control. «All Russian efforts to occupy it have failed,» according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Russia fired three missiles at Kyiv at night: one was shot down, one hit Sofiivska Borschahivka, a small town in the Bucha area outside of Kyiv, the third still hasnʼt been located.

07:24 a.m. Starting at 8 a.m., Feb. 28, grocery stores and public transport will open in Kyiv. Metro trains will run less often than usual. Kyiv authorities advise going out only if necessary, as fighting may occur during the day. The curfew in the city remains from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

06:00 a.m. Russian ruble hits record low and is now 40% against the U.S. dollar after the U.S. and Europe imposed sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. The ruble was trading as low as 117 per dollar from nearly 84 per dollar the previous day.

05:10 a.m. A missile struck a residential building in Chernihiv, a city 150 km north from Kyiv. Two lower floors were set on fire, but later it was put out. One woman was injured.

05:03 a.m. In the town of Ivankiv, north of Kyiv, Russian troops set fire to a museum. Unique paintings by Ukrainian artist Maria Pryimachenko were destroyed.

Hereʼs what you need to know about first days of Russiaʼs war against Ukraine /Фото 7

Museum in the town of Ivankiv, north of Kyiv, has been under Russia's fire. at 5 a.m. on Feb. 28.

03:40 a.m. Ahead of Feb. 28 talks with Russia, Ukraine is having its quietest night since the invasion began. In a number of cities, an air alert is announced and information about the movements of Russian troops appears, but there are no reports of massive battles and shelling of cities or infrastructure.

01:56 a.m. Melitopol is the largest city that the enemy has occupied. It is located in Zaporizhia Oblast and is home to 150,000 people.

01:50 a.m. The Russian troops from Kherson left towards Mykolaiv, the chairman of regional state administration Vitaly Kim reported.

01:49 a.m. Air alarm in Chernihiv, Vinnytsia and Zhytomyr.

12:25 a.m. 74% of the Poles consider the probability of an attack by Russia on Poland «high» or «medium». This is evidenced by the results of a survey conducted by the Institute for Market and Social Research IBRiS on Feb. 25.

12:20 a.m. The Russian military seized administrative buildings in Berdyansk, Zaporizhia Oblast, said acting mayor Oleksandr Svidlo at 8:25 p.m. on Facebook. He said that heavy military equipment and armed soldiers entered the territory of Berdyansk on Feb. 27.

12:15 a.m. Greece sent Ukraine Kalashnikov portable missiles, ammunition and submachine guns after ten ethnic Greeks were killed in Mariupol as a result of bombing by the Russian occupiers.

12:08 a.m. UN Security Council voted to hold a special meeting of the UN General Assembly to condemn Russiaʼs aggression against Ukraine. Eleven of the 15 member states voted in favor. Against – Russia, abstained – China, the UAE and India. The meeting of the General Assembly is scheduled to begin on Monday, Feb. 28, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time – at 5:00 p.m. Kyiv time.

Today, Feb. 27

10:50 p.m. Russian media reported on Feb. 26, that there were «unprecedented» cyberattacks on the Russian state websites, including the State Service, the sites of the Kremlin, the State Duma, Channel One, Roscosmos and the Russian Railways.

10:42 p.m. Russiaʼs losses have increased to 4,500 people, 27 aircraft, 26 helicopters, 150 tanks, more than 700 AFV, about 50 guns, 1 surface-to-air missile system Buk, 4 «grads», 60 fuel tanks, 2 UAVs and 2 boats.

10:35 p.m. Amid Ukraineʼs war with Russia, nearly 91% of Ukrainians support the actions of President Zelensky, 6% do not support, 3% could not decide, according to the Rating Group.

10:00 p.m. In the last two days, almost 100,000 Ukrainians were mobilized, half of them – reservists, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces.

07:22 p.m. The Iskander rocket, released from the territory of Belarus, hit the airport of Zhytomyr, said the adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko.

07:15 p.m. Volodymyr Zelensky: «I had a telephone conversation with Aleksandr Lukashenko. I explained to him in detail the impossibility of our collision. I do not want missiles, planes and helicopters flying to Ukraine from Belarus. I do not want troops to go to Ukraine from Belarus. And he assured me of that.

Lukashenko asked me to meet with the Ukrainian and Russian delegations on the Pripyat River without any conditions. I will say frankly, as always: I do not really believe in the outcome of this meeting, but let them try.

So that no citizen of Ukraine would have any doubt that I, as president, did not try to stop the war, when there was a small chance.»

06:51 p.m. EU to ban Russia Today and Sputnik in EU countries, according to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. According to her, the EU also imposed sanctions on Lukashenkoʼs regime and imposes trade restrictions on fossil fuels, iron and technology.

06:30 p.m. FIFA has deprived Russia of all football matches on its territory. No international competitions should be held in Russia, and home matches are held in neutral territory, without spectators, in neutral status, without a flag and anthem, called «RFU».

05:34 p.m. The Armed Forces of Ukraine repulsed Volnovakha (Donetsk region).

05:23 p.m. Hackers attacked Belarusian railways to slow down the advance of its troops. The website of the Belarusian Railways is down. The railway has switched to manual control, which slows down the movement of trains. Ukrainians are also encouraged to obstruct the movement of trains by setting up physical obstacles and damaging the canvas.

04:50 p.m. Russia has destroyed the world’s largest aircraft, AN-225 ‘Mriya’ (‘Dream’ in Ukrainian). The plane will be restored at the expense of Russia, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure. «Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free, and democratic European state,» said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

04:26 p.m. Among the countries that have already closed their airspace for Russian planes are Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, Great Britain, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Finland and Slovenia.

04:23 p.m. The world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers – including Taiwan-based TSMC – stops delivering its products to Russia.

04:00 p.m. Ukraine International Airlines, UIA, will not resume flights until March 23, the carrier said. After the start of the Russiaʼs invasion, the UIA said it suspends flights until Feb. 24-27.

03:50 p.m. The Ukrainian army defeated the so-called «V» group of the Russian military in Bucha, a city near Kyiv. Over 100 units of the enemy equipment were destroyed, according to the state communications service.

03:35 p.m. Ukraine confirms peace talks with Russia on Feb. 27. During a phone call with self-proclaimed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Zelensky agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River. Thereʼs no preconditions.

03:00 p.m. Kyiv and all regional centers are under the control of the Ukrainian army.

02:44 p.m. Ukrainian hackers have shut down the websites of the National Bank of Belarus and the Ministry of Information Policy. Dozens of other strategic sites in Belarus are also down.

02:00 p.m. President Zelensky said, «Ukraine has officially filed a lawsuit against Russia at the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague. We demand that Russia be held accountable for distorting the concept of genocide to justify aggression. We ask the court to immediately order Russia to cease hostilities and schedule a hearing next week, the lawsuit says.»

13:00 a.m. The National Bank appealed to Visa and MasterCard to stop servicing payment cards issued by the Russian banks.

11:08 a.m. Ukraineʼs Ministry of Digital Transformation crowdfunded about $14,5 million for the Ukrainian army.

10:46 a.m. There will be no representatives of Ukraine at the so-called talks in Gomel, Belarus, said Zelenskyʼs spokesman Serhiy Nikiforov. «We discussed that, but, at the last moment, Russia demanded that the Ukrainian army has to surrender first,» he said.

10:40 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is urging foreigners, willing to fight for Ukraine, to come and join the fight against Russian soldiers. «Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals,» said Zelensky.

10:19 a.m. The Ukrainian army blew up the bridge between two cities in Kyiv Oblast – Bucha and Irpin to slow down Russian troops. Russian troops are blocked in Bucha.

09:44 a.m. Two Danish journalists who live in Ukraine were shot on Feb. 26 while reporting near the border with Russia, The Daily Beast reported. Reporter Stefan Weichert and photographer Emil Filtenborg Mikkelsen were employed by the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet as stringers.

09:42 a.m. Russian delegation claims to have arrived in Belarus for talks with Ukraine. Ukraine refused to hold talks in the Belarusian city of Gomel. Zelensky said that Ukraine agrees to talk, but negotiations must be in a city «from which missiles arenʼt flying.» According to him, it could be Warsaw, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul.

09:16 a.m. Ukrainian Air Forces shot down the cruise missile launched in the direction of Ukraineʼs capital from Belarus by the TU-22 plane, according to Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

09:08 a.m. Russian missile hit a 9-story residential building in Bucha, a city in Kyiv Oblast, about 30 kilometers from central Kyiv. Thereʼs no info about the casualties.

08:21 a.m. Russiaʼs losses as of Feb. 27, 7:00 :

  • over 3,000 people are dead and over 200 are taken prisoner;
  • 16 aircraft;
  • 18 helicopters;
  • 102 tanks;
  • 540 armored vehicles;
  • 1 surface-to-air missile Buk;
  • 20 automotive equipment.

08:03 a.m.

  • Russian troops have slowed down their advance into the territory of Ukraine: they are deprived of timely replenishment of fuel and ammunition, while its personnel – mostly young boys – is exhausted from previous military exercises and has a «bad attitude,» according to Ukraineʼs security agency. It also reported the cases of desertion and refusal to take part in hostilities against Ukraine.
  • The main tactic of the Russians is to occupy small towns, villages and highways. Attempts to take control over large cities were unsuccessful due to strong resistance from Ukraine.
  • Russiaʼs main goal is to seize Ukraineʼs capital, Kyiv. As of today, Russia has failed.
  • Russian troops destroy civilian infrastructure and kill civilians. Ignoring the norms of international humanitarian law, they damaged the oil depot in Vasilkov and destroyed a gas pipeline in Kharkiv.
  • In order to intimidate the local population, they use military units and subdivisions, staffed mainly by Caucasians, with poor knowledge of the Russian language.
  • Russia also attacks Ukraine in cyberspace by sending phishing emails and threatening messages.

07:32 a.m. Russian armored vehicles have entered Kharkiv – troops were spotted in the cityʼs downtown. Kharkiv is Ukraineʼs second-largest city located in the northeast of the country. «The situation in the city is very tense,» said Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are burning Russian machinery. Russia is suffering losses, but the battle continues.

07:00 a.m. Vasylkiv, a city in Kyiv Oblast, is quiet now, local resident told Forbes. During the night Russian forces were trying to take over the Vasylkiv Air Base and set the cityʼs oil storage on fire.

06:50 a.m. Kyiv is under the control of the Ukrainian military. After the fierce attack at night, the capital is calm in the morning.

06:36 am. Russian military launches drones in Odesa. Ukrainian military is working to neutralize them.

06:25 a.m. Six people, including a seven-year-old girl, were killed in the Russian shelling of Okhtyrka, in Sumy Oblast in northeastern Ukraine, the cityʼs governor Dmitry Zhivitsky said.

06:00 a.m. In Kyiv, Russian troops shot dead a family with three children, killing an adult and one child.

4:30 a.m. The Ukrainian military destroyed a unit of Chechen security forces led by Commander Magomed Tushayev — Presidentʼs Office. Tushayev commanded the 141st Motorized Regiment of the Chechen Rosguard.

4:10 a.m. The battle for the airport continues near Vasylkiv, says the head of the Kyiv regional administration Oleksiy Kuleba.

3:56 a.m. Kremlin media report an explosion at an oil depot in the city of Rovenki, which has not been controlled by Ukraine since 2014. This was reported before the explosion at the oil depot in Vasylkiv, but there is still no confirmation from reliable sources yet.

3:50 a.m. Germany will close its airspace to Russia, — Reuters. Lufthansa has already canceled all flights to Russia for the coming week.

3:30 a.m. French President Emmanuel Macron has held talks with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, according to the Elysee Palace. Macron called on Lukashenko to demand that Russia withdraw its troops from Belarus as soon as possible; condemned the possible future deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus; stressed that the fraternal relations between the Belarusian and Ukrainian peoples should motivate Belarus to refuse to be a vassal and a de facto accomplice in Russiaʼs war against Ukraine.

3:15 a.m. The shells hit the Radon Association radioactive waste disposal site, according to the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine. According to the preliminary assessment of the State Atomic Regulatory Authority, there is no threat to the population outside the sanitary protection zone. This is the third report of damage to environmentally hazardous facilities during the night.

3:10 am Fire at the oil depot in Vasylkiv: there is no threat of fuel spillage, as of 2:40 am the access of firefighters is limited due to fighting — the State Emergency Service.

3:00 a.m. Kharkiv, Kherson, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr — the fighting continues in the same places as in previous days, adviser to the head of the Presidentʼs Office Mykhailo Podoliak.

2:50 a.m. Ten Greek nationals have been killed and six others wounded by Russian bombing near the Ukrainian city of Mariupol — Greece PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

2:30 a.m. In Kharkiv, the occupiers blew up a gas pipeline. Earlier, a video showing a mushroom cloud after the explosion was spread on social networks. This is not a nuclear strike, although the explosion is visually similar to it — the State Special Communications Service.

2:20 a.m. Digital Minister Fedorov asked Rakuten and PayPal to block their services in Russia.

2:00 a.m. Ukraine addressed a request to members of the Council to convene an emergency special UN General Assembly since Russia did not let the Council act as required to maintain international peace & security — Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Serhiy Kislytsya.

01:50 a.m. Kharkiv is under attack — perhaps the largest in the last three days. As a result of the attack on Buchma st. an old lady died, 2 were wounded, 20 were evacuated.

01:15 a.m. Russian shells hit the oil depot in Vasylkiv — Mayor Natalia Balasynovych. There is a big fire at the place of impact.

01:10 a.m. Hundreds of people who are looking for their relatives, call the hotline of the Ministry of Defense ʼReturn alive from Ukraineʼ

About 12:50 a.m. near the Paton Bridge in Kyiv there was a strong explosion and fire — UNIAN news agency

Feb. 26

The White House announces new sanctions against Russia:

  • Selected Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT payment system. This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally.
  • Restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions.
  • Acting against the people and entities who facilitate the war in Ukraine and the harmful activities of the Russian government. Specifically, the EU commits to limit the sale of citizenship—so-called golden passports—that let wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government become citizens of the European countries and gain access to their financial systems.
  • Identifying and freezing the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies that exist within the European jurisdictions.
  • Coordination against disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.

Other news

  • Starlink satellite internet service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route, according to the companyʼs founder Elon Musk.
  • Chernihiv region: the Ukrainian military blew up an echelon transporting 56 tank trucks with diesel fuel.
  • Luhansk region: the attack on Severodonetsk was repulsed. After the capture of Luhansk in 2014, the city is the temporary center of the region.
  • In recent days, 20 citizens were killed and 71 were injured in Kyiv; the night will be difficult, said Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko.
  • Zelensky proposed to UN Secretary General António Guterres to deprive Russia of the right to vote in the UN Security Council.
  • The General Staff of Ukraine has estimated the loss of 3,000 enemy troops and about 700 units of military equipment.

09:39 p.m. Russian troops fired at children’s hospital in Kyiv. One child was killed, two children and two adults were injured.

09:35 p.m. Ukraine temporarily closed checkpoints with Russia and Belarus.

09:04 p.m. Ukrainian telecom operators Kyivstar, Vodafone and Lifecell have blocked access to their networks for subscribers from Russia and Belarus.

08:51 p.m. Rakuten Viber CEO Hiroshi Mikitani donated $8,7 million to Ukraine.

08:31 pm. Sumy fully returned to Ukrainian control after the heavy shelling on Feb. 26.

08:06 p.m. Russian soldiers fired at an ambulance near Kherson – 2 people were killed, 1 injured.

08:00 p.m. Instagram started to put labels on accounts of Russian state-controlled media, which spread propaganda and disinformation. Earlier Facebook started blocking Russian state media from running ads on its platform.

07:58 p.m. The process of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT payment system has already been underway, according to Zelensky.

06:33 p.m. Russian military equipment occupied the territory of Berdyansk airport. Berdyansk is a city of 108,000 people in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

06:31 p.m. Ukrainian military destroys Russian Su-30 fighter aircraft in Black Sea.

06:22 p.m. Ukraine destroyed all railway junctions with Russia, according to the press service of Ukrzaliznytsia, Ukraine’s railway operator. 

06:21 p.m. According to the United Nations, at least 100,000 Ukrainians have already left the country: nearly 25,000 refugees have reached Moldova, and 29,000 have fled to Poland. Ukrainians go to Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. They are gathering in long lines at border checkpoints trying to escape the country.

06:11 p.m. Russian citizens can no longer create new Twitter accounts from the territory of their country, according to Ukraineʼs Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov. He has previously called on YouTube, Meta and Netflix to confront Russian propaganda.

06:03 p.m. Ukrainian cybersecurity officials say hackers from Belarusian cyber espionage group UNC1151 are targeting the private email addresses of the Ukrainian military. The group includes officers of the Belarus Ministry of Defense.

05:56 p.m. Russian troops opened fire at a bus with passengers near Kharkiv. One person was killed.

05:24 p.m. At least 6 Russian government websites are down due to cyberattacks. The list includes Russiaʼs telecom regulator, State Duma and presidentʼs websites. Russian TV channels had also been hacked and now broadcasts Ukrainian songs.

04:30 p.m. Russia accuses 10 local media outlets of distributing false information about the war in Ukraine. Among them are a popular radio station Echo Moskvy and a newspaper critical of the government called Novaya Gazeta. Russian regulator Roskomnadzor ordered the media to delete the offending information or face restricted access to their websites. 

Kremlin calls its invasion of Ukraine «a special military operation,» aiming to get rid of the «Nazi» government.

04:26 p.m. Turkey has closed the Black Sea for Russian warships due to Russiaʼs invasion of Ukraine.

03:58 p.m. Russian forces in occupied Donetsk are handing out gas masks to their troops and local militants. According to the Security Service of Ukraine, Russia can blow up industrial tanks with chemicals today, accusing the Ukrainian military of «sabotage against the civilians».

03:44 p.m. Ukrainian state road agency Ukravtodor calls on local authorities and road organizations to destroy road signs across the country. The main priorities are signposts and names of settlements. «The enemy has bad internet connection, they have no sense of direction. Letʼs help them get straight to hell,» Ukravtodor said.

03:15 p.m. Chernihiv, a Ukrainian city in northern Ukraine, is preparing for street fights tonight. Local authorities have urged all hunters to join the defense. «And there are a lot of hunters in the city,» said Galina Petrova, a local resident.

02:35 p.m. Southern city of Kherson is under attack now.

01:30 p.m. Latvian airline airBaltic suspends flights to Russia until March 26 due to Russiaʼs invasion of Ukraine.

01:29 p.m. Kyiv extended the curfew from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. Anyone outside between these hours would be considered «members of sabotage and reconnaissance groups,» according to Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klitschko.

12:19 p.m. In Sumy, Russian aircraft is scattering childrenʼs toys, mobile phones, and valuables stuffed with explosives, according to the local military administration. Forbes sources said that the city is under attack, people are hiding in bomb shelters or houses.

12:05 p.m. Russia is imitating an air battle over the Chornobyl power plant. The main reason, according to Ukrainian state authorities, is to create provocative news for the foreign media, giving a fake impression that Ukraine has started shelling in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. There are no Ukrainian troops in Chernobyl. The level of radiation has increased due to the movement of Russian military equipment.

11:00 a.m. As of the morning of Feb. 26, Volnovakha – a small city in Donetsk Oblast – is under Ukrainian control. The city has electricity and water shortages. The eastern cities of Stanytsia Luhanska, Krymske, Markivka are now occupied by Russia.

Feb. 25-26

  • Since 11:30 pm on Feb. 25, Kyiv was under intense attack: explosions occurred near the local power station, Kyiv Zoo, the military unit, and several metro stations. Russian missile hit an apartment building not far from Zhulyany airport. No deaths were reported.
  • The Anonymous hacker group has leaked the database of the Russian Ministry of Defense website. As of Feb. 26, the website is still down.
  • A baby was born in Kyiv’s metro, now used as a bomb shelter. Her name is Mia.
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky stays in Kyiv. He said he is open to negotiations with Russia but will continue to defend the state.
  • Ukraine repelled Russian troops in Vasylkiv near Kyiv. The battle lasted all night. The Ukrainian Armed Forces also repelled Russian attack Mykolaiv, a southern city near the Black Sea. 
  • Ukraine dawned at least two Russian Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifters. In 2014, pro-Russian separatists used Il-76 to shoot down Ukrainian air forces near Luhansk, resulting in the deaths of nearly 50 soldiers.
  • As of 6 am, Feb. 26, Russia lost 14 airplanes, 8 helicopters, 102 tanks, 536 armored cars, 15 artillery pieces, 1 surface-to-air missile Buk, 17 vehicles. Over 3,500 people are killed, nearly 300 are kept hostage.
  • The U.S. promised to impose sanctions on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

World reacts

  • In total, 27 countries have agreed to transfer weapons and military aid to Ukraine.
  • Great Britain, Italy, Germany, the Chez Republic, Cyprus, Italy and France supported the decision to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT payment system.
  • Poland refused to play the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Russia due to the invasion.
  • The Netherlands to send 200 Stinger missiles to Ukraine.
  • More military aid en route.
  • Estonia closes the sky for Russian aircraft.

08:23 p.m. The developer of two famous video games Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher donated $250,000 to support Ukraine.

08:21 p.m. Great Britain, Italy and Germany supported the decision to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT payment system.

08:00 p.m. The Russian government has decided to «partially restrict» access to Facebook after it blocked pages of several Russian state media following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These restrictions could make it more difficult for Russians to share information about the war in Ukraine.

07:00 p.m. Russian troops, including 3-4 helicopters, landed in Mykolaiv on the evening of Feb. 25. Mykolaiv is a city of over 476,000 in southern Ukraine.

06:35 p.m. Russia will no longer perform at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. The organizers banned Russian participation, saying it would bring the contest «into disrepute.»

06:20 p.m. Poland and the Czech Republic to close airspace to Russian airlines in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

05:20 p.m. Ireland waives visa requirements for all Ukrainians. «We believe this will be helpful to Ukrainian families here who may want their loved ones to join them,» said

There will be a significant migration issue arising from these attacks, we will have to play our part in helping those who will have to flee Ukraine and we do that in solidarity with our European colleagues,ʼ he said. 

05:00 p.m. As a result of the Russian airstrike in the Kyiv region, four civilians were killed and 15 were injured.

04:58 p.m. The Council of Europe suspends Russiaʼs membership in the organization.

04:11 p.m. Since the beginning of the large-scale invasion, Russian troops suffered the following losses, as of 3 pm, Feb. 25: up to 80 tanks, nearly 516 armored combat vehicles of various types, 10 aircraft, 7 helicopters and nearly 2,800 manpower.

03:02 p.m. Over 1,000 Russian soldiers were killed on the second day of the invasion. According to Ukraine’s Armed Forces, it is the largest number of casualties in conflict ever sustained by Russia.

02:52 p.m. Kyiv has entered the defense phase, Russia wants to destroy the capital, said Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko during a briefing on Feb. 25.

11:50 a.m. Nearly 18,000 people in Kyiv are getting firearms, ready to protect the city.

11:46 a.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remains in Kyiv, despite the fact that the only goal of the Russian special operation in Ukraine is to «destroy the leadership of the country», according to an adviser to Zelenskyʼs chief of staff Mykhailo Podoliak.

11:00 a.m. Witnesses reported a shooting near the government quarter in the center of Kyiv.

10:19 a.m. U.K. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Reuters on Feb. 25. that Russia intends to take the whole of Ukraine but its army failed to deliver its main objectives on the first day of the invasion.

World reacts

The European Union is ready to freeze the assets of Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, according to Financial Times. Foreign ministers hope to approve the sanctions package on Feb. 25, along with a number of measures against Russian banks and industry.

Customers of sanctions-hit Russian banks cannot use Apple and Google Pay. Among the sanctioned banks are VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, and Otkritie. Their customers wouldnʼt be able to use their cards abroad or to make online payments to companies registered in countries that have issued sanctions, according to Russia's Central Bank.

10:10 a.m. Russia’s troops have entered the Obolon district in Kyiv, which is approximately 10 kilometers from downtown. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry asks residents not to leave their houses and prepare Molotov cocktails.

06:52 a.m. The National Bank of Ukraine has banned all transactions with Russian and Belarusian rubles.

06:15 a.m. Russian tanks are moving towards Kyiv, according to Forbes sources in the General Staff of the Armed Forces. Ukrainian troops blew up a bridge in Ivankov and stopped the Russian convoy. Ivankov is located halfway from the border to Kyiv. If the Russian army defeated the city, it would have a better chance of invading Kyiv.

06:10 a.m. Russian troops opened fire at the airport in Rivne, a city of 250,000 in western Ukraine. No serious damage was done.

05:57 a.m. Ukraineʼs Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv had suffered «horrific» Russian airstrikes.

05:34 a.m. Russia already lost around 800 men since the beginning of the invasion, Ukraineʼs Defense Ministry reports. Russiaʼs losses also include seven planes, six helicopters, 130 armored fighting vehicles, and over 30 tanks.

05:28 a.m. French President Emmanuel Macron to provide Ukraine with military equipment and 1.2 billion euros in aid.

05:27 a.m. Loud explosions have been heard in Kyiv as Russian missiles fell on the Ukrainian capital in the early hours of Friday, Feb. 25. Ukrainian forces had downed an enemy aircraft, which then crashed into two residential buildings and set them on fire. Three people were injured, one in critical condition, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

02:29 p.m. A hacker group called Anonymous attacked the Russian propaganda website RT News and several government websites, including the Russiaʼs Ministry of Defense. Earlier, Anonymous wrote on Twitter that it had launched a «cyberwar» against the Russian government and expressed support for Ukraine.

01:04 p.m. During the first day of the war, Ukraine lost 137 of its citizens. The Ukrainian military has defended almost the entire territory of the country and took control over Gostomel, a north-western suburb near Kyiv.

00:47 a.m. President Zelensky said that Russian sabotage groups had entered Kyiv and that Russia planned to assassinate him. ʼThe enemy has identified me as the number one target. My family is the number two target. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state,ʼ Zelensky said in his statement to Ukrainians on Feb. 25.

00:32 a.m. Ukrainian military destroyed over 30 Russian tanks and up to 130 enemy armored vehicles, according to the commander-in-chief of Ukraineʼs Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhny.

Feb. 24, first day of war

11:43 p.m. President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked European Union leaders to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT payment system and impose an embargo on the oil and gas trade.

11:43 p.m. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has decided to temporarily evacuate all its staff from Ukraine. The mission has been working in Ukraine since 2014.

11:14 p.m. Ukraine temporarily bared men aged 18-60 from leaving the country, following Zelenskyʼs decree on general mobilization.

11:06 p.m. Ukrainian army recaptures Antonov International Airport in Hostomel, less than 10 kilometers from Kyiv. According to Ukraineʼs Ministry of Internal Affairs, the airport in Hostomel is now under the control of the Ukrainian military.

11:03 p.m. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin, demanding an «immediate halt» to Russiaʼs aggression in Ukraine.

10:56 p.m. Ukrainian stocks collapsed on foreign markets due to the Russian invasion. Ferrexpo lost 43% of its value in a day, Kernel – 42%, Astarta – 40%.

10:19 p.m. Ukraineʼs defense minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Russian troops are preparing a new wave of attacks, including airstrikes. According to him, the Ukrainian army is ready to fight back.

The main battlefields as of late Feb. 24 were the cities of Luhansk, Sumy, north of Kyiv, and southern Ukraine, Reznikov said.

09:24 p.m. As of the evening, Feb. 24, nearly 60 Ukrainians had been killed and 169 wounded due to Russian aggression, according to Ukraineʼs Ministry of Health.

08:51 p.m. U.S. President Joe Biden issued a new round of economic sanctions to punish Russia for attacking Ukraine. The U.S. will block four Russian banks that hold more than $1 trillion in assets, including the two largest – Sberbank and VTB – from having access to the American financial market. «That means every asset they have in America will be frozen,» the US president said.

07:50 p.m. Chernobyl power plant has been captured by Russian forces. «It is impossible to say whether the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians,» according to adviser to Zelenskyʼs chief of staff Mykhailo Podoliak. «This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today,» Podolyak said.

Before that:

  • Putin addressed the nation at 5 a.m. Kyiv time, saying that Russia began a military operation to «demilitarize» Ukraine. After his speech, people in Odesa and Kharkiv started reporting loud explosions. Later, Russian troops began shelling Kyiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Odesa, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Zhytomyr, Poltava and Zaporizhia oblasts. There are casualties among civilians.
  • Russian troops have attacked Ukraineʼs borders in five oblasts and Crimea. Russian-backed militants in Donbas have begun attacking Ukrainian positions on the front line.
  • Putin said his goal is to defend the people of Donbas who «have been subjected to genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years». He called it «self-defense» and claimed that Russia doesnʼt plan to occupy Ukraineʼs territories.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has introduced martial law. He also said Ukraine has cut diplomatic ties with Russia.
  • Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov urged every Ukrainian who can hold a weapon to mobilize. People only need a passport to be able to join the ranks, according to him.
  • Zelensky held a phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden. «The US has already begun consolidating international support», said Zelensky in a video address on Facebook.
  • In a written statement, Biden said that the world will hold Russia accountable. «Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way», he said.
  • Ukraine has closed airspace to civilian flights. Moldova, southwest of Ukraine, also closed its airspace.
  • The biggest fights at the moment are in Sumy, near Kharkiv and in Gostomel (Kyiv Oblast), according to adviser to Zelenskyʼs chief of staff Mykhailo Podoliak. «Russiaʼs goal is to remove the countryʼs leadership and install their puppet government», he said.
  • In the evening, Feb. 24, it became clear that Russia’s armed forces target not only military but also civilian areas – hospitals in Donetsk oblast, residential quarters in the eastern city of Mariupol.
  • Russian forces have tried to carry out a terrorist attack on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to cause an environmental catastrophe. It suggests that Russia wants to cause maximum destruction, according to Podoliak. He said that Russia has failed to deliver a shock strike.
  • Following airstrikes by the Russian military outside Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv has introduced a curfew from 10 pm to 7 am. Public transport won’t work during curfew, while metro stations will serve as bomb shelters.

World reacts

Major world leaders have reacted to Russiaʼs invasion of Ukraine. They accused Putin of brutality and said that Russia will pay a ʼbitter priceʼ for its attack.

The European Union promised to hit Russia with new sanctions. It will be «the harshest package of sanctions» it has ever implemented, said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. With this package, the EU will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy: it will block its access to key technologies and markets, as well as freeze Russian assets in the EU and stop the access of Russian banks to the European financial market.

The EU is ready to host refugees fleeing the Russian invasion, according to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

«We will welcome and host refugees immediately,» she said. «We are fully prepared for them, and they are welcome.»

Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian foreign ministers issued a joint statement encouraging the foreign leaders to impose strong sanctions on Russia, including disengaging it from the SWIFT payment system and isolating Russia politically.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison announced sanctions against 25 Russians including army commanders, mercenaries and ministers. He promised further waves of sanctions against Russians including hundreds of members of parliament.

The war in Ukraine has also prompted Ukraineʼs neighbors, including Lithuania and Moldova, to impose a state of emergency. Dozens of cars were reportedly queuing on the border with Ukraine, with Moldova and Poland saying they are ready to accept Ukrainian refugees.

The story is being updated.