On the fourth day of battle, Russian military vehicles surged into Ukraine’s second-largest city, as explosions shook oil and gas installations.
Russian soldiers and armoured vehicles were spotted and heard firing in various locations of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s northeastern metropolis. In a video released by the authorities, a flaming tank can be seen. According to a Ukrainian state agency, Russian troops blew up a natural gas pipeline near Kharkiv before dawn, spreading a flaming cloud into the darkness.
“Light vehicles of the Russian enemy have broken into Kharkiv, including the city centre,” said regional governor Oleh Sinegubov. “The Ukrainian armed forces are annihilating the enemy.” We request that civilians refrain from leaving their homes.”
Late Saturday, Ukraine’s Western allies stepped up their response to Russia’s land, sea, and air invasion, imposing sanctions that will bar major Russian banks from the main global payments system, as well as other measures aimed at limiting Moscow’s use of a $630 million war chest of central bank reserves.
According to an official, Finland and Sweden are the latest European countries to block their airspace to Russian flights, and the EU may follow suit with a coordinated European-wide embargo.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukrainian military were holding off Russian troops moving on Kyiv. Shelling hit civilian infrastructure and objectives, including ambulances, according to him.
A UN agency reported 64 civilian casualties, while Ukraine claimed to have killed almost 4,000 Russian forces. The figures could not be verified by Reuters. More than 368,000 refugees have streamed into neighbouring nations, mostly women and children, jamming trains, highways, and borders.
The Kremlin dispatched a diplomatic delegation to Belarus to offer negotiations, but Ukraine declined, claiming Belarus was participating in the invasion. Ukraine was willing to have negotiations elsewhere, according to Zelenskiy.
Overnight, Russian missiles hit their target, including one that set fire to an oil station in Vasylkiv, southwest of Kyiv, according to the town’s mayor. According to internet reports, the blasts launched massive flames and billowing black smoke into the night sky.
The passage of Russian gas through Ukraine, which is critical for Europe’s energy needs, is proceeding normally, according to Ukraine’s gas pipeline operator. Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled energy giant, also stated that gas deliveries across Ukraine were continuing normally.
A Ukrainian missile blew destroyed an oil station in the town of Rovenky, according to separatists backed by Russia in the eastern region of Luhansk. Among the 240 civilian casualties, at least 64 individuals were killed, according to a United Nations assistance organisation.