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Explosions heard in Kyiv as Ukrainian president says ‘enemy sabotage groups’ have entered capital

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Feb. 24 that he remained in the country despite being “target No. 1” for Russian forces. (Video: Reuters)

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says “enemy sabotage groups” have entered Kyiv, the capital, as Russian forces close in.

Two loud booms were heard from the city at around 4 a.m. local time. A residential building in Kyiv caught fire, sparked by what appeared to be rocket debris, and the capital’s mayor said that three people were injured and had been taken to hospital.

In an address to Ukrainians, Zelensky did not specifically say Russian forces had entered Kyiv, but his reference to “sabotage groups” was interpreted as a sign that the city was in peril. He also said the country has been left to fight alone by NATO despite appeals for help from the alliance. But he remained defiant and urged Ukrainians to fight on.

Here’s what to know

  • More than 130 Ukrainians were killed in a day, Ukraine’s president said. Authorities said Russian forces captured the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant as well as an island in the Black Sea.
  • The European Union approved a second round of sanctions on Russia Friday.
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered about 7,000 service members to deploy to Germany in the coming days to help buttress NATO, according to a senior defense official. NATO announced that it will bolster its eastern flank and host an emergency summit.
  • Ukraine announced a full military mobilization and banned adult male citizens from leaving the country.
  • Global markets convulsed Thursday as Russia launched a military assault on Ukraine, with the three major U.S. indexes clawing back from steep losses.