Russian invasion of Ukraine: What we know today

Russia pressed its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of the capital Friday after unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order.

Here’s what we know today:

The latest

Explosions sounded before dawn in Kyiv on Friday and gunfire was reported in several areas, as Western leaders scheduled an emergency meeting and Ukraine’s president pleaded for international help to fend off an attack that could topple his democratically elected government, cause massive casualties and ripple out damage to the global economy.

The military said Friday that a group of Russian spies and saboteurs was seen in a district on the outskirts of Kyiv, and police told people not to exit a subway station in the city center because there was gunfire in the area.

Elsewhere in the capital, soldiers established defensive positions at bridges, and armored vehicles rolled down the streets, while many residents stood uneasily in doorways of their apartment buildings.

The Ukrainian military on Friday reported significant fighting near Ivankiv, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Kyiv, as Russian forces apparently tried to advance on the capital from the north. Russian troops also entered the city of Sumy, near the border with Russia that sits on a highway leading to Kyiv from the east.

The assault, anticipated for weeks by the U.S. and Western allies, amounts to the largest ground war in Europe since World War II.

World reactions

“If you don’t help us now, if you fail to offer a powerful assistance to Ukraine, tomorrow the war will knock on your door.” — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

“Nobody believed that this war would start and that they would take Kyiv directly. I feel mostly fatigue. None of it feels real.” — Anton Mironov, waiting out the night in one of the old Soviet metro stations

“He’s going to test the resolve of the West to see if we stay together. And we will.” — President Joe Biden

“Now we see him for what he is — a bloodstained aggressor who believes in imperial conquest.” — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

“The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and maintained. At the same time, we also see that the issue of Ukraine has its own complex and special historical merits, and we understand Russia’s legitimate concerns on security issues.” — Wang Wenbin, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson

“This is not a return to the Cold War. This is a hot war. Russia has actively invaded an independent democratic nation, and Putin has made it very clear that it is his intention to reassemble the geographic territory of the Soviet Union, placing at risk NATO allies and of course the United States.” — U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton

“First and foremost, we need make sure that it stays contained to Ukraine, because Putin’s ambitions and the things he’s discontent about aren’t limited to Ukraine. How do we do that? I think we have to make this very expensive for him to have made this decision.” — U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy

Fast facts

— At Chernobyl: Ukraine’s nuclear energy regulatory agency says that higher than usual gamma radiation levels have been detected in the area near the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear plant, after it was seized by the Russian military. It attributed the rise to a “disturbance of the topsoil due to the movement of a large amount of heavy military equipment through the exclusion zone and the release of contaminated radioactive dust into the air.”

— Refugees flee the country: Hungary has extended temporary legal protection to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, as countries in eastern Europe prepare for the arrival of refugees at their borders. Poland’s Border Guard says that some 29,000 people were cleared to enter through the country’s land border with neighboring Ukraine on Thursday.

— What Russia is saying: The Russian military claims it has destroyed 118 Ukrainian military assets since the beginning of its assault on its neighbor and as it pushes into the outskirts of Kyiv. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Friday that among the targets were 11 Ukrainian air bases, 13 command facilities, 36 air defense radars, 14 air defense missile systems, 5 warplanes and 18 tanks and warships.

— Champions League final moves: Russia was stripped of hosting the Champions League final by UEFA on Friday with St. Petersburg replaced by Paris after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

What’s happening locally?

— At Wright-Patt: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base personnel were among the military members who were placed on an elevated readiness posture last month in response to concerns that Russia will execute a further incursion into Ukraine.

— Watching gas prices: Gas prices have risen for the past eight weeks, and an industry analyst says consumers could see prices at $4 per gallon by late spring in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

— Monitoring potential cyber attacks: Shawn Waldman, chief executive of Miamisburg cyber security business Secure Cyber Defense, said his company was monitoring potential Russian cyber attacks against the United States. “We are very much in defense mode at the moment monitoring the threat data from the U.S. government and other sources,” Waldman said in a Twitter message to a reporter.

What happens next?

— While there’s an acute awareness that a military intervention is unlikely, for now, the strength, unity and speed of the financial sanctions — with the striking exception of China, a strong Russian supporter — signal a growing global determination to make Moscow reconsider its attack. Twenty million dollars in U.N. humanitarian funds, and a planned infusion of 1.5 billion euros ($1.68 billion) in EU economic aid for Ukraine have been announced.

— U.S. and European officials are holding one key financial sanction against Russia in reserve, choosing not to boot Russia off SWIFT, the dominant system for global financial transactions.

— The U.N. Security Council will vote Friday on a resolution that would condemn Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine “in the strongest terms.” It also would demand an immediate halt to Russia’s invasion and the withdrawal of all Russian troops.

— The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says he is “closely following recent developments in and around Ukraine with increasing concern.” Karim Khan warned “all sides conducting hostilities on the territory of Ukraine” that Ukraine has accepted the court’s jurisdiction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

About the Author