Russia attacks Ukraine: Russia blocks UN resolution condemning Ukraine invasion

Russian forces launched a full-scale assault on Ukraine on Friday, with Russian troops attacking from the north, east and south.

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The skies above Kyiv were lit up by a large explosion and at least one rocket crashed into a civilian building in the capital city, The New York Times reported. More explosions were heard across Ukraine’s capital throughout the day.

“Horrific Russian rocket strikes on Kyiv,” Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

The last time Kyiv “experienced anything like this,” Kuleba wrote, was in 1941 “when it was attacked by Nazi Germany. Ukraine defeated that evil and will defeat this one. Stop Putin.”

Here are the latest updates:

Second Russian military plane shot down, officials say

Update 11:35 p.m. EST Feb. 25: A second Russian Ilyushin Il-76 military transport plane was shot down near Bila Tserkva, 50 miles (85 kilometers) south of Kyiv, according to two American officials with direct knowledge of conditions on the ground in Ukraine.

On Friday, Ukraine’s military said it had shot down a Russian military transport plane with paratroopers on board.

According to a statement from the military’s General Staff, the first Il-76 heavy transport plane was shot down near Vasylkiv, a city 25 miles south of Kyiv. The Russian military has not commented on either incident so far, and the reports could not be immediately verified.

US government prepared to help Zelenskyy leave Ukraine: report

Update 11:25 p.m. EST Feb. 25: The U.S. government is prepared to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy if he chooses to leave Kyiv amid the ongoing Russian invasion, but he has so far refused to go, The Washington Post reported, citing unidentified U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

Zelenskyy has vowed to stay in Ukraine and defend the country, CNN reported.

“We are all here,” he said from Kyiv in a video posted Friday night on Facebook. “Our military are here. Citizens and society are here. We are all here defending our independence, our state and it will remain so. Glory to our defenders! Glory to our women defenders! Glory to Ukraine!”

Facebook barring Russian state media from running ads

Update 11:10 p.m. EST Feb. 25: Facebook’s head of security policy on Friday announced that the social media giant is prohibiting Russian state-controlled media from running ads or monetizing on the site “anywhere in the world.”

“We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media,” Nathaniel Gleicher said in a Twitter post. “These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend.”

Biden, Harris to speak with national security team about Ukraine-Russia conflict

Update 10:50 p.m. EST Feb. 25: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are scheduled to participate Saturday morning in a call with their national security team to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine, according to the White House.

Officials said in an updated schedule that Biden and Harris plan to meet with officials “to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine and Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack.”

The meeting is scheduled to take place over a secure call at 10 a.m.

US embassy in Ukraine warns situation ‘remains highly volatile’

Update 10:40 p.m. EST Feb. 25: Officials with the U.S. embassy in Kiev warned Friday that the security situation in Ukraine “remains highly volatile” amid ongoing reports of conflict following the Russian invasion of the country.

Officials issued a travel advisory earlier Friday urging people not to travel to the country due to “armed conflict and COVID-19.”

“U.S. citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options,” the advisory said. “U.S. citizens remaining in Ukraine should carefully monitor government notices and local and international media outlets for information about changing security conditions and alerts to shelter in place. Those remaining in Ukraine should exercise increased caution due to the potential for active combat, crime, and civil unrest.”

American businesses show support for Ukraine

Update 10:30 p.m. EST Feb. 25: Stores and bars are removing Russian vodka from their shelves to show solidarity for Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion by Russia.

>> Read more: Russian vodka removed from shelves in Kansas, Michigan

Tensions between Russia, US spilling out into space

Update 9:35 p.m. EST Feb. 25: The head of Russia’s space agency warned Thursday that new sanctions leveled against the country by the U.S. could jeopardize cooperation on the International Space Station, WFTV reported.

Four NASA astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts and one European astronaut are currently living and working on the space station, according to WFTV. Officials with NASA have said that no changes are planned for either in-orbit or ground station operations, despite the rising tension between the U.S. and Russia.

>> Read more on WFTV.com

UN secretary-general: ‘We must give peace another chance’

Update 8:50 p.m. EST Feb. 25: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday night that “we must give peace another chance” after Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at denouncing the invasion of Ukraine.

“The (UN) was born out of war to end war,” Guterres wrote in a social media post. “Today, that objective was not achieved. But we must never give up.”

Fighting ongoing in eastern Kyiv

Update 8:45 p.m. EST Feb. 25: Officials with Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications said troops were fighting early Saturday in the Troieshchyna neighborhood of eastern Kyiv.

Ukraine says it shot down Russian military plane

Update 8:05 p.m. EST Feb. 25: Ukrainian officials said they have shot down a Russian Ilyushin Il-76 airplane with paratroopers onboard, BBC News and The Associated Press reported.

In a statement obtained by the AP from the general staff of Ukraine’s military, officials said the heavy transport plane was shot down near Vasylkiv, a city about 25 miles south of Kyiv.

The report could not immediately be verified.

More than 50,000 refugees have fled Ukraine, UN says

Update 7:35 p.m. EST Feb. 25: In less than 48 hours, officials with the United Nations Refugee Agency said more than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees fled the country amid the ongoing invasion by Russia.

In a statement posted on social media, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi most refugees had fled to Poland and Moldova while “many more are moving toward (Ukraine’s) borders.”

Zelenskyy calls Russia’s veto of UN resolution ‘a bloodstain on its plaque in the Security Council’

Update 6:55 p.m. EST Feb. 25: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared thanks to United Nations Security Council members who voted in favor of a resolution that would have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called the country’s decision to veto the resolution “a bloodstain on its plaque in the Security Council, the map of Europe (and the world).”

Friday’s vote was 11-1, with China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining.

Zelenskyy said Friday that support for the draft resolution showed “the world is with us, the truth is with us (and) the victory will be ours.”

Treasury Department formally imposes sanctions on Putin, Lavrov and others

Update 6:35 p.m. EST Feb. 25: The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday evening formally imposed sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of the country’s security council in response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The sanctions are in addition to previous ones announced by President Joe Biden that target Russian elites, banks, state-owned businesses and more.

“Cumulatively, these actions impose unprecedented diplomatic and economic costs on Russia and further isolate it from the global financial system and international community,” officials said in a news release.

Russia vetoes UN resolution to halt attack

Update 6:10 p.m. EST Feb. 25: Russia has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding that Moscow stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all troops.

Friday’s vote was 11-1, with China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining. It showed significant but not total opposition to Russia’s invasion of its smaller, militarily weaker neighbor.

The United States and other supporters knew the resolution wouldn’t pass but argued it would highlight Russia’s international isolation. The resolution’s failure paves the way for backers to call for a swift vote on a similar measure in the U.N. General Assembly. There are no vetoes in the 193-member assembly. There’s no timetable as yet for a potential Assembly vote.

Zelenskyy says Russian troops will storm Kyiv Friday night, urges public to ‘persevere’

Update 5:45 p.m. EST Feb. 25: In an address on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the night “will be the hardest” with Russian troops expected to storm Kyiv in the coming hours, according to multiple reports.

“The enemy will go all in. We must withstand,” the president said, according to The Guardian.

In a televised address, Zelenskyy stressed that “morning will come.”

“This night the enemy will be using all available means to break our resistance. This night they will launch an assault,” he said, according to BBC News. “This night we must persevere. The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now.”

Earlier Friday, Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko said that five explosions were heard in the city. He also said the night would be “very difficult,” according to BBC News.

“The situation now - without exaggeration - is threatening for Kyiv,” he said.

Zelenskyy spokesman says Ukraine prepared to hold ceasefire talks with Russia

Update 5:05 p.m. EST Feb. 25: A spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday that the president is open to immediately holding ceasefire talks with Russia and that officials from both countries were discussing a time and place for such talks to be held, BBC News and Reuters reported.

“I have to refute the allegations that we have refused to negotiate,” the president’s spokesman, Sergii Nykyforo, wrote in a Facebook post. “Ukraine has been and remains ready to talk about a ceasefire and peace.”

US to sanction Putin, other Russian officials

Update 4:10 p.m. EST Feb. 25: White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the White House plans to issue sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and others.

Following a telephone conversation President Biden held with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and in alignment with the decision by our European allies, the United States will join them in sanctioning President Putin and foreign minister Lavrov and members of the Russian national security team,” she said at a news briefing Friday. “I expect we’ll have more specific details out later this afternoon.”

US could impose sanctions on Putin Friday; evacuation trains travel from Kyiv

Update 2:42 p.m. EST Feb. 25: The U.S. is expecting to impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin as early as Friday, CNN reported. Other high-ranking Russian officials could also be included.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Railway Company said evacuation trains are leaving from Kyiv’s main station and a suburban location and will be going to Rakhiv, Uzhhorod, Truskavets, Vorokhta, Kovel, Chernivtsi and Lviv. About 10,000 people can be evacuated by train by the end of the day.

The seats are first-come-first-served with priority given to children, women and people with limited mobility.

Those who are on the trains are being told not to say where they’re going and don’t be alarmed if emergency lighting is used during the trip, CNN reported.

>>Related: How to talk to children about the conflict in Ukraine

Kyiv mayor says ‘difficult’ night ahead

Update 2:31 p.m. EST Feb. 25: The mayor of Kyiv is warning those living in the city to prepare for a difficult night.

Russian troops are very close to the capital. The sabotage groups are neutralizing the military and law enforcement agencies in the city. Bridges are under protection and special control in the capital. Military equipment and soldiers of the Armed Forces are patrolling them,” Vitali Klitschko wrote on his Telegram channel, according to CNN.

He also said that hospitals are in wartime mode and that checkpoints have been created for entering the city and near strategic facilities.

U.S. intelligence believes Kyiv will fall within days, CNN reported.

Independent is reporting that shelling has been happening in Kyiv with at least five explosions, one near a power station north of the city.

Military aid arrives in Ukraine; Airspace warning expanded; Poland, Czech Republic close airspace

Update 2:05 p.m. EST Feb. 25: Poland has delivered ammunition to Ukraine, the first publicly acknowledged shipment of aid since Russia invaded, CNN reported.

Poland’s Minister of Defense Mariusz Blaszczak wrote in a tweet that the ammunition has reached its destination and that Poland stands by Ukrainians in solidarity against Russia.

Blaszczark didn’t say the type of ammunition or how much was given to Ukraine, CNN reported.

European aviation regulators have added more space to the zone surrounding Ukraine because there are fears of “mid-range missiles penetrating into controlled airspace,” CNN reported.

It was originally 100 nautical miles but is now 200 nautical miles of the Ukrainian border with Russia.

As airspace warnings are increased around Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic have closed airspace to Russian airlines, CNN reported. All Russian carriers will be prohibited from flying over the countries, CNN reported.

They follow the United Kingdom which banned civilian Russian aircraft yesterday.

>>Related: Photos: World monuments lit in solidarity with Ukraine

Biden, Zelenskyy speak

Update 1:23 p.m. EST Feb. 25: President Joe Biden spoke with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Friday afternoon, CNN reported.

The White House said the call lasted about a half-hour, Independent reported.

Zelenskyy also tweeted about the call shortly after it was done.

The call came hours after Zelenskyy had said that Ukraine was “alone in defending our country,” CNN reported.

Shortly after, Zelenskyy released a video recorded in Kyiv telling people that he was still in the capital as Russian troops get closer and after reports that he had fled.

He and senior advisors pledged to stay in the city.

“We are protecting our independence, our state. And we will continue to do so,” he said, according to the Independent.

NATO makes additional defensive deployments

Update 12:53 p.m. EST Feb. 25: NATO said it is adding “significant additional defensive deployments of forces” to the eastern part of its alliance.

NATO is calling the move “preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory,” CNN reported.

It was the first time NATO has active its Response Force as a defensive measure and will be used on the land, air and sea.

In announcing the move, NATO wrote in a statement:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, enabled by Belarus. We call on Russia to immediately cease its military assault, to withdraw all its forces from Ukraine and to turn back from the path of aggression it has chosen. This long-planned attack on Ukraine, an independent, peaceful and democratic country, is brutal and wholly unprovoked and unjustified.”

NATO also said “Russia bears full responsibility for this conflict. It has rejected the path of diplomacy and dialogue repeatedly offered to it by NATO and Allies.”

NATO has told Russia to stop “senseless war,” saying that both Russia and Belarus will be held accountable,” CNN reported.

>>Related: Why did Russia fight for control of Chernobyl, the site of a nuclear disaster?

Kremlin releases new details on offer to meet Ukraine in Minsk

Update 12:45 p.m. EST Feb. 25: A Russian spokesperson has added more details on the proposal Moscow has introduced to meet with Ukrainian leaders in Minsk, Belarus.

“Putin immediately phoned President (Alexander) Lukashenko and agreed that the Belarusian side and the president would do everything to best organize the arrival of delegations and ensure their safety — this element is also important now — and the conditions for conducting these negotiations directly,” Dmitry Peskov said on a phone call with reporters, according to CNN.

Peskov said Ukraine officials said they would meet in Warsaw, but Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said his government is “considering the proposal,” CNN reported.

EU agrees to freeze Putin, Lavrov assets

Update 12:32 p.m. EST Feb. 25: The European Union has agreed to freeze the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The union also agreed to other sanctions, The Associated Press reported.

Earlier, the leader of the Belarus opposition who is in exile said the EU should place tougher sanctions on her homeland for its role in the invasion.

Sviatlana Tiskhanouskaya said President Alexander Lukashenko is a close ally to Russia and has turned Belarus into “an aggressor,” using it as a home for Russian soldiers, refueling equipment and a launching point for the Russian military, the AP reported.

The U.S., EU, Britain and Canada had imposed sanctions on officials, businesses and other sectors in Belarus after the country cracked down on Lukashenko’s opponents, the AP reported.

Council of Europe suspends Russia, keeps Ukraine’s membership

Update 11:56 a.m. EST Feb. 25: The Council of Europe has suspended Russia’s membership in the human rights organization but it has kept Ukraine’s membership active, The Associated Press reported.

The Council of Europe is made up of 47 nations and is based in Strasbourg.

Euronews reported that 42 of the 47 countries voted for the suspension.

The decision was made “as a result of the Russian Federation’s armed attack on Ukraine,” the AP reported.

Despite the vote, Russia is still a member of the COE.

About 200 missile launches ‘impacted civilian residential areas’

Update 11:45 a.m. EST Feb. 25: The U.S. military said it has seen at least 200 missile launches since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It was a mix of ballistic and cruise missiles launched from the ground and air, CNN reported.

The death toll has not been confirmed.

About a third of the troops that Russia had put on the border with Ukraine has invaded but U.S. officials warned it could increase, CNN reported. More than 50,000 Ukrainians have left their homes in less than 48 hours, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said, according to CNN.

Many have gone to Poland and Moldova.

US defense official claims Russian amphibious assault underway on Sea of Azov

Update 11:36 a.m. EST Feb. 25: A senior U.S. defense official said a Russian “amphibious assault” is happening on the Sea of Azov, west of Mariupol, “putting potentially thousands of navy infantry ashore there,” CNN reported.

Officials said they are not sure how they would be used, but it is assumed that they will proceed northeast.

Russians claim they have control of Hostomel airfield, US military says Russia not progressing as fast

Update 11:24 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Russian defense ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that Russia had made a “successful landing operation” capturing Hostomel airfield outside of Kyiv, CNN reported.

Konashenkov said, “More than 200 Russian helicopters were involved in the operation.”

CNN could not confirm the claim that 200 Ukrainians were killed, but no Russians fell.

Russia also claimed that the U.S. has instructed Ukraninas to put rocket artillery systems in residential areas to provoke Russia, but those claims have not been backed by evidence, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, U.S. defense officials told reporters that the Russians “are not moving on Kyiv as fast as they anticipated they would be able to,” CNN reported. The official said the Russian troops are meeting Ukrainian resistance.

British intelligence says Ukraine kept control of cities, Ukraine claims Belarus hacking attempts

Update 10:50 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Russia has not made much progress as it closes in on key cities, despite being in the suburbs of Kyiv, the UK Ministry of Defence said on Twitter. But it also stressed that fighting continues.

Meanwhile, Ukraine says it has a cyber battle with Belarus as hackers working for the Belarusian Ministry of Defense have unleashed phishing emails to Ukrainian military personnel and associates, CNN reported.

The Ukrainian officials did not say if the hacking attempts were successful.

CNN reached out to Belarus officials for comment.

Putin praises troops for their ‘courage,’ NATO holds emergency meeting, U.S. troops prepare to deploy

Update 10:15 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Russian President Vladimir Putin said that many people in the Ukrainian military are reluctant to fight his army and that the units that are resisting are made up of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists volunteers, The Associated Press reported.

The AP reported that Putin did not have any evidence for those claims.

Putin had claimed that the Ukrainians had used heavy weapons in areas such as Kyiv and Kharkiv and used civilians as shields as he called for the country’s military leaders to stop resisting and turn on the government, the AP reported.

He also highlighted his military’s courageousness.

As Putin continues to push forward, NATO is holding an emergency meeting with the organization’s nine eastern countries on how to boost security in that region. Some are afraid that their countries will be the next targeted by Russia.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army announced that 3,800 soldiers from Fort Stewart in Georgia will be deploying from their Savannah, Georgia Army post to “reassure NATO allies, deter further aggression against NATO member states and train with host-nation forces” the AP reported.

Zelenskyy open to speaking with Russian delegation

Update 9:54 a.m. EST Feb. 25: CNN reported that the Kremlin is willing to send a delegation to Minsk, the capital of Belarus for a meeting with Ukraine.

Ukraine apparently is “considering the proposal,” an advisor to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told CNN.

Zelenskyy had said he was open to talks with Putin.

“Today we heard from Moscow what they want to talk. They want to talk about Ukraine’s neutral status. I asked all the partners of the state if they are with us. They are with us, but they are not ready to take us into an alliance with them,” Zelenskyy said in a video message.

“We are not afraid to talk with Russia, we are not afraid to talk about everything, about security guarantees for our country. We are not afraid to talk about neutral status,” Zelenskyy said, CNN reported.

>>Related: 6 things to know about Ukraine

Zelenskyy addresses country

Update 9:14 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has released a new message urging his people to resist the Russian invasion. He also had critical words for his country’s allies, CNN reported.

He said on the video which was posted to Facebook, “This morning, we are defending our country alone. Just like yesterday, the most powerful country in the world looked on from a distance.” CNN reported he was referring to the United States.

Zelenskyy said the sanctions against Russia are not enough, calling what has happened in Ukraine “all-out war” adding “Such attacks on our capital haven’t occurred since 1941.”

EU could freeze assets of Putin, Lavrov

Update 8:55 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Luxembourg’s foreign minister says the European Union are “very close to agreement” to freezing the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, The Associated Press reported.

In an agreement debated Thursday night, but will be voted on Friday, the EU will not impose travel bans on the leaders to allow diplomacy to occur, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The EU rarely sanctions leaders but there have been a few exceptions, notably, former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, according to the newspaper.

Kremlin says Putin willing to send representatives to Belarus for Ukraine talks, state media reports

Update 8:16 a.m. EST Feb. 25: The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to send representatives to Minsk, Belarus, for negotiations with Ukrainian officials, according to Russian state media.

“Following Zelenskyy’s proposal to discuss the neutral status of Ukraine, Putin can send representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign Ministry and his administration to negotiations with the Ukrainian delegation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a readout provided by state news agency RIA-Novosti, CNN reported.

Russia claims it seized airport outside Kyiv

Update 8:02 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Russia claims it has seized a strategic airport in Hostomel, just four miles northwest of Kyiv, The Associated Press is reporting.

The news agency added that it has not been able to independently verify the claim.

Chinese state media reports Russia open to negotiations

Update 7:44 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia “is willing to conduct high-level negotiations” with Ukraine, according to a Chinese state media readout of a call between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The state-affiliated China Central Television reported Friday that Xi said his country “supports Russia and Ukraine resolving the problem through negotiations,” according to The Associated Press.

Earlier Friday, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin said “the issue of Ukraine has its own complex and special historical merits, and we understand Russia’s legitimate concerns on security issues,” the AP reported.

“The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and maintained,” Wang said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released a video message asking Putin to “sit down at the negotiation table to stop the people’s deaths,” CNN reported.

>>Related: Russia attacks Ukraine: How to donate to people in Ukraine

Formula One calls off Russian Grand Prix

Update 7:19 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Formula One has called off this year’s Russian Grand Prix following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

“The FIA Formula 1 World Championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together. We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock, and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation,” Formula One said in a statement Friday.

“On Thursday evening, Formula 1, the FIA and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”

The event had been scheduled to take place in Sochi in September.

Pope Francis visits Russian embassy in Rome

Update 6:54 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Pope Francis on Friday visited the Russian embassy in Rome to “express his concern about the war” amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, according to The Associated Press.

The news agency said the “extraordinary” move had “no recent precedent.”

Generally, meetings between popes and ambassadors or heads of state occur at the Vatican, the AP reported.

>>Related: What does the Russian invasion of Ukraine mean for America’s economy?

18,000 weapons distributed to Kyiv area reservists

Update 5:38 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Ukrainian authorities said Friday that about 18,000 guns have been provided to Kyiv area reservists since Thursday morning, CNN is reporting.

“Soon, we are to receive additional support with modern weapons and other resources from our partners,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and Ukrainian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Valery Zaluzhny said in a joint statement, according to CNN.

The country has banned men ages 18 to 60 from leaving Ukraine following Russia’s attack, the news outlet reported.

Russia bans UK airlines from its airspace

Update 5:03 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Rosaviatsiya, Russia’s civil aviation authority, has banned U.K. airlines from using its airspace, The Associated Press reported early Friday.

The move, which prevents U.K. flights from landing at Russian airports or flying over the country, came hours after British authorities banned flights to the U.K. by Russian carrier Aeroflot, the AP reported.

Paris replaces Russia for Champions League soccer final

Update 4:47 a.m. EST Feb. 25: The Union of European Football Associations said it is moving its Champions League soccer match from St. Petersburg to Paris, according to CNN and The Associated Press.

“UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French Republic President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football’s most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis,” the organization said in a statement Friday. “Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement.”

The May 28 match will be held at the Stade de France, the AP reported.

Gunfire reported near Kyiv government quarter; residents told to make Molotov cocktails

Update 4:17 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Gunfire has been reported near the government quarter of Kyiv, The Associated Press is reporting.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense took to social media to warn residents of Kyiv’s Obolon district that troops were battling Russian forces nearby.

“We urge citizens to inform us of troop movements, to make Molotov cocktails and neutralize the enemy,” the post read, according to a translation by The Guardian.

3 hurt after rocket hits Kyiv apartment building

Update 3:55 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Three people were hurt, one critically, when a rocket struck a Kyiv apartment building and sparked a fire Friday, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko tweeted.

According to The Associated Press, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian attacks have struck both military and civilian areas.

War crimes prosecutor monitoring Ukraine developments

Update 2:55 a.m. EST Feb. 25: War crimes prosecutor Karim Khan has issued a statement saying he is monitoring the developments in Ukraine.

“While on mission in Bangladesh, I have been closely following recent developments in and around Ukraine with increasing concern,” Khan, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, said in the statement.

Khan added that his office “may exercise its jurisdiction over and investigate any act of genocide, crime against humanity or war crime committed within the territory of Ukraine” since Feb. 20, 2014.

“Any person who commits such crimes, including by ordering, inciting or contributing in another manner to the commission of these crimes, may be liable to prosecution before the court, with full respect for the principle of complementarity,” the statement continued. “It is imperative that all parties to the conflict respect their obligations under international humanitarian law.”

Khan said that because Russia and Ukraine are not member states of the court, his office does not have jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, according to The Associated Press.

Zelenskyy urges resistance, criticizes allies

Update 1:43 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a new video message Friday, urging citizens to resist the Russian invasion and criticizing Ukraine’s allies for the second time, CNN reported.

“This morning, we are defending our country alone. Just like yesterday, the most powerful country in the world looked on from a distance,” Zelenskyy said in a Facebook video, appearing to refer to the United States.

“Russia was hit with sanctions yesterday, but these are not enough to get these foreign troops off our soil,” Zelenskyy said. “Only through solidarity and determination can this be achieved.”

Захищаємось! Не зупиняємось! Слава Україні!

Posted by Володимир Зеленський on Thursday, February 24, 2022

3 Ukrainian border guards killed during rocket strike

Update 1:23 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Three Ukrainian border guards were killed by a Russian rocket strike Friday morning, The New York Times reported, citing Ukraine’s State Border Guard service. The strike, which took place around 4:25 a.m., hit a border post in the Zaporizhia area of southeastern Ukraine.

Russians move to within 20 miles of Kyiv

Update 12:24 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Russia continues to press forward into Ukraine on Friday, reaching the outskirts of Kyiv, according to The Associated Press.

Russian troops unleashed airstrikes on the capital city, and explosions sounded before dawn.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his government had information that “subversive groups” were encroaching on the city, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Kyiv “could well be under siege,” the AP reported.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers on a phone call that Russian mechanized forces that entered from Belarus were about 20 miles from Kyiv, the news organization reported.

Blinken ‘convinced’ Putin will try to overthrow Ukraine’s government

Update 12:14 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he is “convinced” that Russian President Vladimir Putin will try to overthrow the Ukrainian government.

In an interview with ABC News, Blinken said it was “part of the Russian plan” to assault Kyiv and other major cities in Ukraine.

Blinken told the network that a Russian attack beyond Ukraine was “a possibility,” but repeated President Joe Biden’s commitment toward its NATO allies, warning that “an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all members of NATO.”

“The President’s been very clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory,” Blinken told ABC. “I think that’s the most powerful deterrent against President Putin going beyond Ukraine.”

Ukraine says it has recorded 800 casualties

Update 12:01 a.m. EST Feb. 25: The Ukrainian Defense Ministry claims its armed forces have inflicted approximately 800 casualties on Russian forces since the invasion began early Thursday, CNN reported.

It was unclear whether the ministry was referring solely to the number killed, the news outlet reported.

The ministry added that it had destroyed more than 30 Russian tanks, seven aircraft and six helicopters. CNN has been unable to independently confirm Ukraine’s numbers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.