Tuesday. 21.05.2024
WAR IN UKRAINE

Kiev empties out as fear takes hold ahead of expected Russian advance

"Come to the streets with Ukrainian flags, film the Russian occupiers. Show them that they are not wanted here, that everyone will resist them," the Defence Ministry pleaded

24 February 2022, Ukraine, Kiev: Smoke rises after an explosion in the capital city of Kiev early Thursday. Russia launched an all-out assault on Ukraine on Thursday, shelling towns and bases with airstrikes or shells. Photo: Ukrainian President's Office/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.
Smoke rises after an explosion in the capital city of Kiev early Thursday. Photo: Ukrainian President's Office/dpa.

Fear was taking hold in Kiev on Friday as Russian troops advanced toward Ukraine's capital and biggest city.

Media correspondents in the city reported that streets and squares had largely emptied out, although armed patrol units were on the move.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had earlier reported "terrible Russian missile attacks" on the city of nearly 3 million people. The Ukrainian Defence Ministry called on the population to block Russian military vehicles everywhere.

"Come to the streets with Ukrainian flags, film the Russian occupiers. Show them that they are not wanted here, that everyone will resist them," the ministry pleaded.

Residents should stay away from the actual fighting, however, so that the Ukrainian military could "do its job."

Air raid shelters

In the east of the country, people spent the night in air raid shelters.

"More and more people came over the course of the night," said 34-year-old Yevgeniya Andreyevna, from Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv.

"Everyone came with their pets," she added.

Andreyevna returned to her flat in the morning.

Kiev empties out as fear takes hold ahead of expected Russian advance