A huge explosion shook central Kyiv following air raid sirens in the early hours of Thursday as a series of blasts rocked Ukraine's capital. Terrified residents rushed toward the nearest bomb shelters as Russian jets could be seen all over the sky. Earlier a large explosion shook central Kyiv in what the president's office said was a missile strike near a rail station in the south of the capital.
Two powerful blasts reportedly went off in the city center, followed by two more near a metro station. According to reports, Kyiv is presently under heavy bombing, while air raid sirens continue to wail.
Kyiv Shaken by Explosions
The silence was initially shattered by the blaring of air raid sirens in numerous districts around the city at around 2 am local time, before the city's buildings were lit up by a massive blast from a bomb dropped by Vladimir Putin's invading forces.
At least four explosions were heard, with one being reported to have taken place near the city's metro station which is also being used as a bomb shelter. According to reports, two missiles were fired at Ukraine's Ministry of Defense headquarters, one of which was shot down.
In Kyiv, the building and the rail station are on opposite sides of the road. The Twitter account of OSINTtechnical, which shares open source intelligence, released a video of one of the explosions. The blasts we're captured while a CBS international reporter was coming off air.
Footage from the capital, shot from windows overlooking the city, showed at least one big explosion that lit up the night sky and sent a shockwave through the city.
Two blasts of light could be seen over Kyiv in another video obtained by CBS News correspondents shortly after signing off a report. Despite the fact that the explosions were not directly filmed, their power was enough to frighten the reporter and his film crew, who were some distance away from the blasts.
According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, a major heating pipeline in Kyiv was damaged in the strike. The number of casualties from the blast is not yet known. The state railway company says thousands of women and children are attempting to flee the conflict.
Putin's Forces Strike
Earlier, on Wednesday night, a Russian missile struck near Kyiv's southern mail rail station, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of women and children, according to Ukraine's state-run railway firm Ukrzaliznytsya.
Despite the bomb and predictions of another night of harsh attacks by Putin's soldiers, the station building sustained minimal damage and the number of casualties is unknown, according to the statement.
The blast was caused by debris from a downed Russian cruise missile, according to Ukraine's interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko, and wasn't a direct rocket hit. Trains were still running. In the midst of the frigid winter weather, Herashchenko warned that the strike may have cut off central heating supply to areas of the Ukrainian capital.
The Southern Railway station is one of two that make up the main passenger train complex, which has been utilized by thousands to flee from the fighting over the last week. An overhead corridor connects the two stations, which spans around a dozen tracks.
"Russian terrorists launched an air strike on the South Railway Station in Kyiv, where thousands of Ukrainian women and children are being evacuated," the national railway company said.
Kyiv was not the only place targeted, according to local media. According to the Kyiv Independent, air raid warnings have been issued in Kyiv Oblast, Lviv, Zhytomyr, Frankivsk, Chernihiv, and Odesa.
To make matters worse, a heavy fog descended over Kyiv as Ukraine prepared to mark a week since Putin launched his invasion in the early hours of Thursday morning, creating difficult circumstances for air defense.
Meanwhile, in response to Russia's "brutal shelling" of cities, the headquarters of Ukraine's Special Operations Forces stated that it would no longer take Russian artillerymen as prisoners of war. "Each and every gun crew... will be slaughtered like pigs," a statement on Wednesday evening said.