Russia’s war against Ukraine: Day 2. The most important events of the first half of the day
On February 24, Russia declared war on Ukraine. During the first day of the war, 137 Ukrainians were killed and 316 more were wounded. The attack on the country continued on February 25 and continues to this day. Zaborona published three large pieces with a short chronology of the first days and night of the war: here is the first, the second (in Ukrainian), and the third one. We are also working to keep our readers up to date with the most important news on our website and Telegram channel.
The morning in Kiev began with two air alerts, around seven and eight in the morning. The sirens went off an hour apart, the announcements were confirmed by the city administration which urged locals to go to the nearest shelter (the map of shelters is available here).
In the Chernihiv direction and immediately on the approach to Chernihiv, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian military managed to hold the defenses and repel a breakthrough by Russian troops: “Enemy equipment was forced to retreat from Chernihiv toward Sedniv and from Gorodnya to Semenivka. Enemy trophies in the form of equipment and documents with personal data of Russians were seized,” the report said.
On the Pripyat River, the occupiers deployed a pontoon bridge. Equipment is moving over it from the side of Belarus.
Near Starobelsk in the Luhansk region, Ukrainian artillerymen inflicted losses on the occupiers — artillery smashed a column of Russian equipment preparing to cross the Aidar River. According to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the enemy broke through the Ukrainian border and tried to get over the lines of Ukrainian troops to strike and break the defense line from behind. As a result, the occupiers suffered losses and retreated.
At the same time, the Ministry of Defense reported that sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the Russian Armed Forces used vehicles seized from the National Guard of Ukraine to penetrate deep into the rear of Ukrainian positions. The occupiers were dressed in the military uniform of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Subsequently, Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar reported that they had been neutralized.
Fighting with the Russians who stole Ukrainian equipment took place in the Obolonsky district of Kiev right on the street. In the video filmed after their liquidation, you can hear a Ukrainian soldier asking not to film the face of the killed “out of respect”.
Meanwhile, the city administration asks the residents of the Obolonsky district of Kiev not to go out on the streets because the enemy is approaching. “The only exception may be the need to move to shelter when the Air Alert signal is activated,” the message reads.
An armored group of Russian occupation troops tried to break through the defenses near the settlement of Trekhizbenka in the Luhansk region. Ukrainian military destroyed 2 Russian tanks and 1 BMP, forcing the enemy to retreat, according to the Facebook page of the United Forces Operation.
According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff, the occupation aircraft are controlled and guided from the territories of Minsk region in Belarus and the temporarily occupied Crimea. A Russian IL-76 with paratroopers on board landed at the Belarusian airfield of Gomel. And due to damage to the runway at Gostomel airport, the enemy is proceeding on its own from the territory of Belarus in the direction of Gomel-Chernihiv-Kyiv. In order to attack the capital, the occupiers also use the Kozelets-Brovary and Konotop-Nizhyn-Kyiv directions.
As of 10 a.m., Ukrainian military stopped the enemy at the Belous River in Sivershchina. In Slobozhanshchina, in Kharkiv and Valuikiv districts, units from the Defense Forces have stopped the enemy and entrenched themselves along an established defense line. The Air Force grouping repels enemy air strikes and continues systematic combat operations.
Ukrainian forces have lost control of the city of Konotop in Sumy Region. There are battles for Melitopol in Zaporizhzhia Region.
In Kherson oblast, the occupiers have advanced to the line of Kherson, Kakhovka and Nova Kakhovka to maintain the dam of the North Crimean Canal.
There is no change in the Donetsk direction: the occupiers did not advance beyond the administrative boundaries of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. However, they do not stop shelling the Joint Forces units.
“In order to frighten the population of Ukraine, the enemy is increasingly choosing to hit civilian infrastructure and apartment buildings,” the General Staff explained.
The Associated Press reports that the sounds of gunfire can be heard in the government quarter. Earlier, the head of the Presidential Office said that the main goal of the occupiers in Kyiv is to eliminate Zelensky.
In Donetsk region, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine assisted more than 800 residents of the town of Krasnogorivka. In addition, local authorities evacuated 27 children from the villages of Novognativka and Mykolaivka in Volnovakha district, Donetsk region.
About 1.6 thousand people were evacuated from Lysychansk in Luhansk Region — they were sent by trains to Khmelnytsky and Odessa. Residents of the village of Rosohach in Ternopil region and the town of Chuguiv in Kharkiv region were evacuated, too. And in the city of Starobilsk, Lugansk region, in the morning 6 multi-storey buildings burned down as a result of shelling. Another 2 two-storey houses were partially destroyed.
“There is no communication with the 24 State Fire and Rescue Unit of the urban type settlement Stanytsia Luhanska. There is no data on the condition of the personnel,” State Fire and Rescue Service said in the message.
As a result of the collapse of the “Kharkiv” bridge three cars were damaged — one burned after the fall of reinforced concrete plates, the other two flew off the bridge. The owners of the damaged cars did not need any help.
The central market in Kherson burned at night. The fire was localized at about 2 a.m. The causes of the fire are yet unknown. A gas station between Kherson and Oleshki burned as a result of the shelling, but State Emergency Service forces were not involved in extinguishing the fire because of the danger to personnel.
Units of Operational Command North destroyed about 20 enemy tanks in the Minsk direction in Chernihiv Region. The number of casualties on the part of the occupiers will still be specified, the Verkhovna Rada telegram channel of Ukraine reports. In addition, the “North” unit destroyed a column of 10-15 units of enemy equipment moving from the direction of Repki to Chernihiv.
Reaction of the authorities
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky appealed for defense assistance to Bucharest Nine, which includes Bulgaria, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. He also called on countries to impose sanctions and put pressure on the aggressor. “Together we must put 🇷🇺 at the negotiating table. We need an anti-war coalition,” he tweeted.
The president also held talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Finnish President Sauli Niinostio and European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen. Finland has allocated $50 million in financial aid to Ukraine, and the European Commission also responded, but Zelensky did not name the amount of aid.
A phishing attack has begun against Ukrainians — letters with attached files of an indefinite nature are being sent to citizens’ e-mail addresses, and it is possible that similar mailings are being sent to messengers as well, according to the Verkhovna Rada’s telegram channel. “Enemy forces aim to gain access to the electronic devices of Ukrainians to collect a large amount of information! Under no circumstances, do not open the content of emails and messages,” the authorities warned.
According to the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov, in conversations with European colleagues, he passes on a specific list of needs of the Ukrainian side to resist the Russian occupiers. First and foremost it is fuel, as well as humanitarian and military aid.
“We record all the losses that Ukraine’s infrastructure is suffering because of Russia’s military invasion. All roads will be restored and bridges rebuilt. I’d like to remind everyone that if the enemy breaks through into Ukraine, our western neighbors are next,” Kubrakov said.
The Ministry of Social Policy together with the National Social Service of Ukraine and the regional departments of social protection will relaunch the program “Help is near” to help displaced people, primarily from vulnerable categories.
Departments of social protection will collect the needs of people by category: accommodation, transportation, food, hygiene and personal protective equipment, medicines, technical means of rehabilitation, etc. According to Marina Lazebna, Head of the Ministry of Social Policy, the program will mobilize the help of all donors, benefactors, public organizations that are willing to join.
About 80% of passenger trains of Ukrzaliznytsia are still running in the country. However, the company reminds that it is not yet possible to ensure compliance with the schedule, so trains continue to move with delays due to prompt changes in routes, reduced speed near stations with bomb shelters and waiting for a safe “window” for travel.
Russia: Among the detained at a Moscow anti-war protest was a 22-year-old girl who, according to the investigation, threw a Molotov cocktail at the police. At the moment, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation asked the court to arrest her.
Great Britain: the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed her solidarity with Ukrainian people in response to morning missile strikes on Kiev. “Putin’s attack on Ukraine is barbaric, unjustified and demonstrates a callous disregard for human life,” she wrote on Twitter.
Kyrgyzstan: another anti-war action in support of Ukraine started at 10 am in Bishkek. The residents of the Kyrgyz capital are picketing the Russian embassy, the protesters are holding placards saying “No to War!”, “Stop the War in Ukraine!”.
Moldova: 65 people who arrived in the country after the Russian attack on Ukraine were accommodated at the exhibition center Moldexpo in Chisinau. According to the mayor of the capital, Ion Ceban, there are 38 people staying at the accommodation center of the Bureau of Migration. On February 24, Moldova declared a state of emergency due to the war between Ukraine and Russia.
At the same time, according to Ukrazaliznytsia, Moldova temporarily suspends railway communication with Ukraine. In particular, the regular train Odessa – Chisinau – Odessa has been suspended today.
Georgia: Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced that Georgia will not support sanctions against Russia. The country’s Central Bank said it was ready to help the local branch of the Russian VTB Bank, if it has problems due to sanctions imposed by Western countries.
Federated States of Micronesia: the country’s leadership has decided to sever diplomatic ties with Russia over the declaration of war in Ukraine.
“The people and government of FSM support your [Ukraine’s] sovereignty and your right to exist, including your right to live in peace and harmony with your neighbors. FSM condemns the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and the unwarranted and brutal attack on its people and territory, which our country considers to be unequivocally evil and the highest form of atrocity,” reads the statement of Micronesian President Devid V. Panuelo.