- Ukrainian officials are preparing for a Russian assault on the capital, Kyiv, as the full-scale attack enters a second day.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says 137 people have been killed so far, including civilians.
- The UN’s refugee agency says about 100,000 Ukrainians have been displaced, with thousands fleeing to nearby European states.
- Western powers have announced sweeping sanctions on Russia.
- Hundreds of Russians have staged anti-war protests in cities across the country.
Here are all the latest updates:
Ukraine says Russia building up more troops in Belarus to assault Kyiv
The general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine has said Russia is using the Gomel airfield in Belarus to line up troops to assault Kyiv due to damage to the Hostomel military airport near the capital.
The military department said in a statement on Facebook that Russian forces were also currently advancing on the city from several directions as Ukrainian forces battled around Mariupol in the south and Kharkiv in the north-east of the country.
“In order to intimidate the population of Ukraine, the enemy is increasingly choosing to destroy civilian infrastructure and housing,” it said.
‘Armoured columns’ heading for Kyiv
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Kyiv, says the situation there is rapidly “escalating in every respect”.
“That is not just in the air but on the ground as well – there are armoured [Russian] columns heading towards the city,” he said. “There is real anger in the air … and the hatred for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is palpable.
“Furthermore, there are a number of places in the city where people can get a gun of their choice, particularly an AK47, to defend themselves and that is the policy of the presidency. Zelenskyy wants everyone to fight.
“What we are going to find is that when these Russian forces reach the capital there is likely to be fierce resistance. The overall mood is one of horrendous fear of what’s going to happen next.”
Russian foreign minister to hold talks with Donbas officials
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with officials from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics of eastern Ukraine later on Friday in Moscow, his ministry says.
Putin signed decrees on Monday to recognise two breakaway regions as independent statelets, before ordering what he termed a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions – collectively known as the Donbas – broke away from Ukrainian government control in early 2014 and proclaimed themselves independent “people’s republics.”
Ukraine slams ‘horrific’ strikes on Kyiv amid Russian advance
Invading Russian forces are pressing deep into Ukraine.
Deadly battles have reached the outskirts of Kyiv, and multiple explosions have been heard in the capital, with Ukraine’s besieged government accusing Russian forces of having carried out a slew of “horrific rocket strikes” in the city.
Read more here.
Russia claims captures of Black Sea island south of Odesa
Russia’s defence ministry claims its forces have captured Zmiinyi Island in the Black Sea.
The ministry said 82 Ukrainian soldiers stationed there had surrendered to Russian forces.
Ukrainian officials have said that all 13 border guards deployed on the island south of the port city of Odesa were killed by arms fire from a Russian warship.
Al Jazeera was unable to verify either side’s claims.
Kyiv says Russian forces have struck dozens of civilian sites: Report
Russian forces have bombed more than 30 civilian sites since the beginning of their attack on Ukraine, the country’s interior ministry has said, according to a report by the Interfax news agency.
“The Russians say they are not striking civilian objects. But 33 civilian sites have been hit over the last 24 hours,” Vadym Denysenko, a ministry official, was quoted as saying.
Russia to deploy paratroopers to guard Chernobyl site
Russia will deploy paratroopers to help guard the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a spokesman for the country’s defence ministry has said.
Radiation levels at the plant are normal, the spokesman told a briefing. Russian troops captured the site during the first day of their invasion.
Ukrainian president appeals for ‘anti-war coalition’
Zelenskyy says he has spoken with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda to seek defence assistance from Eastern European members of NATO and help in bringing Russia to the negotiating table.
“We need [an] anti-war coalition,” the Ukrainian president tweeted.
Kyiv is an ally of NATO but not a full member of the United States-led transatlantic military alliance.
We defend our freedom, our land. We need effective international assistance. Discussed this with @AndrzejDuda. Appealed to the Bucharest Nine for defense aid, sanctions, pressure on the aggressor. Together we have to put ?? at the negotiating table. We need anti-war coalition.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 25, 2022
‘A litany of air raids’ in Kyiv
Al Jazeera’s Simmons, reporting from Kyiv, says the situation in the city is “horrific”.
“There was a litany of air raids overnight and one success for the Ukrainian defence [effort] in that they shot down one of Russia’s [aerial] bombers, but that unfortunately crashed down into a civilian area, causing an unknown number of casualties, but it has left at least one person dead,” Simmons said.
“There have also been a large number of air raids since dawn, on three occasions the air raid sirens have gone off and a civilian area was struck by one of those raids,” he added, noting the city’s hospitals were “struggling with the number of casualties right now”.
Simmons said the number of civilian casualties was not clear, however.
UK says Russia intends to take the whole of Ukraine
Russia intends to take the whole of Ukraine but the Russian army failed to deliver on the first day of its invasion, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said.
The United Kingdom supplied Kyiv with defensive weaponry in the weeks leading up to Moscow’s attack, as tensions between Ukraine and Russia built over the latter’s military build-up along its neighbour’s borders.
Ukraine expects imminent tank attack on Kyiv
Ukraine expects a Russian tank attack on Kyiv in the coming hours, an adviser to the country’s interior minister says.
Anton Herashchenko, the adviser, said the defenders of Kyiv were ready with anti-tank missiles supplied by foreign allies.
War crimes court prosecutor concerned over invasion
International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan has expressed his concern over the Russian invasion of Ukraine and said the body may investigate possible war crimes in the country.
“I remind all sides conducting hostilities on the territory of Ukraine that my office may exercise its jurisdiction and investigate any act of genocide, crime against humanity or war crime committed within Ukraine,” Khan said in a statement.
Zelenskyy says Russian actions show sanctions not enough
Zelenskyy says continued Russian aggression against his country is evidence that sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West are insufficient.
The Ukrainian president added the world was continuing to observe what was going on in Ukraine from afar.
India’s Modi urges Putin to end Ukraine violence
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged Putin to end violence in Ukraine during a phone call between the pair.
Modi “reiterated his long-standing conviction that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue,” his office said in a statement.
“[Modi] appealed for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue,” it added.
India has not condemned Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine nor imposed sanctions on Moscow. The two countries have had close ties since the days of the Soviet Union.
Ukraine says Russian troops largely stopped from advancing
Zelenskyy says Russia resumed missile strikes at 4 am local time (02:00 GMT), but its troops have been stopped from advancing in most directions.
In a televised speech, the Ukrainian president added the Russian strikes were aimed at both military and civilian targets.
Companies shut Ukraine operations
Brewer Carlsberg, Japan Tobacco and a Coca-Cola bottler are among a number of firms who have moved to shut their factories in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, while UPS and FedEx Corp have suspended services in and out of the country.
Many companies with exposure to Russia are waiting for more clarity on Western sanctions and assessing the effects of those already announced.
Denmark’s Carlsberg, which has a a 31 percent share of Ukraine’s beer market, has suspended production at all three of its breweries in the country, while Coca-Cola HBC said it had triggered contingency plans, which included shutting its bottling plant.
Japan Tobacco shut a cigarette plant in Kremenchuck, central Ukraine.
Sirens go off in Lviv city in western Ukraine
Sirens have rung out in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, a Reuters news agency witness said.
The sirens could be heard in videos shared on social media.
Air Raid siren for second straight morning in Lviv, Ukraine pic.twitter.com/0rYqEponXV
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) February 25, 2022
Ukraine foreign minister slams ‘horrific’ Russian rocket strikes on Kyiv
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has slammed the “horrific rocket strikes” that shook Kyiv.
“Horrific Russian rocket strikes on Kyiv,” he tweeted. “Last time our capital experienced anything like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany”.
Horrific Russian rocket strikes on Kyiv. 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.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 25, 2022
Ukraine central bank bans payments to Russia, Belarus
Ukraine’s central bank has banned payments to entities in Russia and Belarus, as well as operations involving both nations’ currencies, the regulator says.
Russia may retaliate for UK’s Aeroflot ban
Russia reserves the right to respond to the UK’s ban on Aeroflot flights with similar measures, the TASS news agency has cited Russia’s aviation authority as saying.
Missile strike hits border post in southeast Ukraine
A missile strike has hit a Ukrainian border post in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia, killing and wounding some guards, the border guard service says.
The region has no land border with Russia but is located on the coast of the Azov sea which the neighbours share.
Explosions heard in Kyiv, official says enemy aircraft downed
Ukrainian forces have downed an enemy aircraft over Kyiv, which then crashed into a residential building and set it on fire, Herashchenko has said.
It was unclear whether the aircraft was manned. The adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister wrote on the Telegram messaging service that a nine-storey residential building was on fire.
Day Two of Russian attack on Ukraine: What we know so far
A roundup of key events that took place on the second day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can be found here.
Ukraine envoy to Japan requests more munitions to defend against Russian missiles
Sergiy Korsunsky says his country needs more anti-aircraft munitions to defend against Russian missiles.
The ambassador to Japan adds Ukraine is well defended against tank attacks but needs Stinger missiles and other anti-aircraft supplies to defend against cruise missiles raining down on the country.
Macron says useful to ‘leave path open’ for dialogue with Putin
French President Emmanuel Macron says it is useful to keep alive the chance of dialogue with Putin.
Macron says after a summit of EU leaders that “while condemning, while sanctioning”, it remained useful “to leave this path open so that the day when the conditions can be fulfilled, we can obtain a cessation of hostilities”.
EU says ‘Putin must and will fail’ as it agrees new sanctions
Putin “must and will fail,” top European Union leaders have said as they agreed to new sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying he is trying to bring the continent back to the age of empires and confrontations.
The bloc’s leaders agreed in principle at an emergency overnight summit to impose new economic sanctions, joining the US and others in taking steps such as curbing Russia’s access to technology.
The EU will freeze Russian assets in the bloc and halt its banks’ access to European financial markets as part of what EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described as “the harshest package of sanctions we have ever implemented”.
EU says sanctions target 70 percent of Russian banking market
EU leaders have agreed to sanctions on Moscow that target 70 percent of the Russian banking market and key state-owned companies, including in defence, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet.
The package of massive and targeted sanctions approved tonight shows how united the EU is.
First, this package includes financial sanctions, targeting 70% of the Russian banking market and key state owned companies, including in defence. https://t.co/iKVGfnafKp
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 25, 2022
Sean Penn in Ukraine to make documentary on Russian attack
US actor and director Sean Penn is in Kyiv, making a documentary about Russia’s attack, the Ukrainian president’s office has said.
The double Oscar winner was photographed attending a government press conference in Kyiv, and could be seen meeting with Zelenskyy in a video posted to the Ukrainian president’s official Instagram account.
Read more here.
Taiwan says it intends to sanction Russia
Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang has said the island will join democratic countries to put sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, although he did not give details.
The crisis is being watched closely in Taiwan – which China claims as its own territory – and which has faced increased military pressure by Beijing over the last two years.
Australia imposes more sanctions against Russia, criticises China’s response
Australia has imposed more sanctions against Russia, targeting several of its elite citizens and politicians, and said it was “unacceptable” that China was easing trade restrictions with Moscow at this time.
“We will work along with our partners for a rolling wave of sanctions and continuing to ratchet up that pressure on Russia,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said during a media conference.
Zelenskyy: 137 Ukrainians killed on first day of attack
Ukraine’s president says 137 civilians and military personnel have been killed in the country on the first day of Russian invasion.
He called them “heroes” in a video address in which he also said 316 people had been wounded.
“They’re killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets. It’s foul and will never be forgiven,” Zelenskyy said, referring to Russian forces.
Japan will strengthen sanctions against Russia, PM Kishida says
Japan will strengthen sanctions against Russia in three areas, including financial institutions and military equipment exports, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said.
Japan will also do its utmost to limit the economic effects on Japan from the fallout from the Ukraine crisis, he said.
Kyiv residents fear looming Russian advances
Residents in Kyiv have said they are shocked at Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Anna Dovnya, a Kyiv resident, said she “didn’t ever think” the invasion would involve Kyiv after several explosions were heard in Ukraine’s capital.
“Until the very last moment, I didn’t believe it would happen. I thought it might just involve Donetsk and Luhansk, but I didn’t ever think it would involve Kyiv,” she told Al Jazeera.
Another resident, Hayan Babokoy, says “everyone is leaving, everything is shut”.
Oleksandra Shustik urged the “whole world” to stop Russia from advancing. “I hate the country that started this war, I speak as a mother and as a Ukrainian, and I call on the whole world to help us and stop this aggressor.”
White House says Putin’s ambitions stretch beyond Ukraine
The White House has said that Putin has grander ambitions than Ukraine, when asked about the Russian leader’s ultimate goals.
New Zealand announces travel bans, trade bans with Russia
New Zealand has imposed targeted travel bans on Russia and prohibited goods trade to its military and security forces.
“The world is speaking and sending a very clear message to Russia that what they have done is wrong and they will face the condemnation of the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
More sanctions may follow as the conflict escalates, Ardern said.
White House says Biden briefed US congressional leaders on Ukraine
Biden briefed leaders in the US Congress about the crisis in Ukraine in a secure call, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said.
Biden “spent an hour this afternoon on the phone with … Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, briefing them on the situation on a secure call, briefing them on the situation on the ground, answering questions they had as well,” Psaki said.
US, Albania call for UN vote on Friday on resolution condemning Russia
The US and Albania called for a UN Security Council vote on Friday at 20:00 GMT on a draft resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demanding Moscow withdraw its troops, diplomatic sources have said.
The text is doomed to failure because of Russia’s veto power as a permanent member of the council. But for Washington, use of the veto would show Russia’s “isolation”, the sources said.
US still has room to tighten sanctions on Russia, official says
The US still has room to tighten sanctions on Russia if aggression against Ukraine escalates further, a senior administration official has said.
A second senior administration official, speaking to reporters, said other countries were making parallel announcements on export controls and it was expected many more will join in the coming days.
Zelenskyy calls on EU to stop Russian ‘aggressor’
Zelenskyy has called on the leaders of the EU to “stand side by side with Ukraine and stop the aggressor”.
In a statement published on his page in the messaging app Telegram, Ukraine’s leader called for “powerful economic and financial sanctions” on Russia, including cutting it off from international payments network SWIFT and imposing an embargo on oil and gas trade.
“Europe’s fate is being decided in Ukraine: if [Russian President Vladimir] Putin doesn’t get a decent rebuff now, he will move on further,” Zelenskyy said, adding that the EU could also help Ukraine with weapons and ammunition and support a UN peacekeeping operation.
“Our people are dying for the freedom of Ukraine and Europe,” the statement said. “We have waited for a long time at an open door. We asked about NATO membership and didn’t get a response.”
Red Cross fears ‘massive casualty numbers’ in Ukraine
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could unleash death and destruction on a scale that is “frightening to contemplate”.
“I fear increased suffering, with the potential of massive casualty numbers and extensive destruction of civilian objects like water and electricity plants, as well as mass displacement, trauma, family separation, and missing persons,” Peter Maurer said in a statement.
“The ICRC has seen many conflicts start and escalate in recent years, but too few of them end, and in each one, it is the civilian populations that bear the consequences,” he added.
Ukraine foreign minister speaks to Turkish counterpart
Kuleba has said that he has spoken to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu over the phone.
The pair discussed “practical steps to ensure security in the Black Sea region,” Kuleba said in a Twitter post.
Ukraine has earlier asked Turkey to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to Russian ships.
Call with @MevlutCavusoglu. Turkey supports Ukraine. Discussed practical steps to ensure security in the Black Sea region against the backdrop of Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine. Ukraine expects resolute actions. Our joint security is at stake now.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 24, 2022
Ukrainian leader signs decree on general mobilisation of population
Zelenskyy has signed a decree on the general mobilisation of the population in the wake of Russia’s invasion, the Interfax Ukraine news agency has said.
Citing a decree on the presidential website, the agency said the mobilisation would be carried out within 90 days of the decree coming into force.
Blinken, in call with India, stresses collective condemnation of Russian invasion
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and urged a “strong collective response” to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the State Department has said.
“Secretary Blinken stressed the importance of a strong collective response to condemn Russia’s invasion and call for an immediate withdrawal and ceasefire,” it said in a statement.
Russia SWIFT ban ‘still on table’: EU financial services commissioner
The EU may not decide to cut Russia off from the SWIFT global interbank payments system this evening, but the measure has not been taken off the table as a possible sanction, the bloc’s financial services commissioner has said.
The possibility of cutting Russia from SWIFT “is still on the table. It may not emerge tonight but it is not off the table”, Mairead McGuinness told Ireland’s RTE television.
US Congress to provide $600m for new Ukraine weapons
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said lawmakers want to provide Ukraine with $600m for “lethal defence weapons” to battle Russia’s unfolding attack.
“What we’re doing with Ukraine is making sure that we have humanitarian assistance to help the people; that we have lethal defence weapons going into Ukraine to the tune of $600 million for them to fight their own fight,” Pelosi told reporters in San Francisco.
Russia plans to ‘decapitate’ Ukraine government, US official says
The US believes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is designed to decapitate Ukraine’s government and one of the three main axes of assault is directed at Kyiv, a senior US defence official has said.
“The indications we’ve seen thus far, in just these first, not even 12 hours, are in keeping with our assessment earlier, that would be his goal: to decapitate this government,” the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official said this appeared to be only the first phase of a large-scale Russian invasion that so far has used a limited number of the more than 150,000 Russian troops arrayed around Ukraine.
“We don’t believe he has committed anywhere near a large portion of the forces that he has available to him,” the official said.
New US sanctions to isolate Russia from global economy: Correspondent
Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, says new US sanctions on Russia, which are being coordinated with European allies, aim to isolate the country from the global economy.
“Any assets that Russia currently holds in the United States are now frozen,” Halkett said.
100,000 Ukrainians believed to be displaced
The UN refugee agency has said an estimated 100,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes and that several thousand have crossed into neighbouring countries, mainly Romania and Moldova.
Russian forces advancing closer to Kyiv: US defence official
Russian forces are making advances on Kyiv and Moscow has continued to flow forces into the country, a senior US defence official has said.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Russia had fired more than 160 missiles at Ukrainian targets so far.
US decries Russia’s ‘aggression’, thanks Baltic states
Blinken has condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine as “premeditated, unprovoked and unjustified”, the department said in a statement.
Blinken spoke with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, and Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets on Thursday, spokesperson Ned Price said.
“Blinken thanked the Baltic states for their steadfast support of Ukraine and for hosting US and NATO forces. Blinken strongly condemned Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine and emphasised the importance of Allied unity for the strong, swift response to Russia’s aggression,” Price said in a readout of the call.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Read all the updates from Thursday, February 24, here.