The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is under attack from multiple directions as Russian forces are likely to storm the city tonight, president Zelenskyy warned. Ukrainian officials informed that the Russian forces were inside the city limits. Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst noted that heavy 'fighting in the streets' including small arms fire and loud explosions could be heard in the city.
In a video message to the country, president Zelenskyy warned that Russian forces will storm the capital in the early hours of Saturday local time. He urged the civilians to brace the situation and prepare themselves for what may befall.
According to The Washington Post, the Ukrainian military claimed that it shot down a Russian military transport plane with at least 150 paratroopers on board. A statement from the military's General Staff noted that the Il-76 heavy transport plane was targeted and brought down near Vasylkiv, a city 40 kilometers south of Kyiv. The report, however, is not unverified and the Russian military has not commented on the incident so far.
Kyiv Independent reported that multiple blasts and heavy machine-gun fire were heard in the western area of Shuliavka, including 'extremely intense combat' around the Kyiv Zoo. Quoting a witness, Reuters reported that artillery blasts were heard from an unspecified location somewhere near the city center.
A spokesperson for Ukrainian president Zelenskyy noted Friday night that the country is still ready to 'talk about ceasefire and peace' with Russia refuting claims that Ukraine refused to negotiate. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, on the other hand, said that Russia is ready for talk if the Ukrainian army surrenders.
Lavrov stressed in his statement that the invading Russian forces intend to free Ukraine from 'oppression' so that Ukrainians can decide their fate themselves. "We are ready for negotiations at any moment, as soon as the armed forces of Ukraine respond to our calls and lay down their arms," Lavrov said.
Lavrov further that Russian President Putin aims to 'demilitarise' and 'denazify' the country, adding that 'nobody intends to occupy Ukraine.'