Russia has launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine as President Vladimir Putin demanded Kyiv’s army lay down its weapons.
The US, EU and Western allies have ramped up sanctions against Russia, targeting banks, oil refineries, and military exports.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has pledged to not surrender and continue fighting to defend his country.
Below are the key moments of the third day of invasion:
Saturday, February 26
Battle for Kyiv
Russia orders big push
Russia ordered its troops to advance “from all directions” as it pounded the Ukrainian military with cruise missiles.
The US military said half of Russia’s invasion force is already inside Ukraine but is being slowed by unexpectedly stiff Ukrainian resistance, with President Zelenskyy claiming his troops have “derailed” the Russian masterplan.
Civilians against tanks
Civilians – some of whom have never held a gun before – hunker down to battle with Russian tanks.
Dead in the streets
A dead civilian is seen sprawled on the pavement in central Kyiv as nearby medics helped another man whose car was crushed by an armoured vehicle. Others are feared dead after artillery blasted a hole in a high-rise apartment block.
Kyiv’s residential tower hit
The mayor of Kyiv said a missile has hit an apartment building, but no deaths or injuries were immediately reported.
The mayor of Kyiv extended a curfew in the Ukrainian capital.
‘I am here’: Zelenskyy
President Zelenskyy released in the morning a self-shot video from central Kyiv saying, “I am here … this is our land, our country, our children and we will protect all of this.”
Cruise missile attacks
Russia said it is bombarding Ukraine’s military infrastructure with cruise missiles.
198 civilians dead
Ukraine’s health minister said 198 civilians, including three children, have been killed so far by Russian forces.
France intercepts cargo ship heading for Russia
French naval forces intercepted a cargo vessel loaded with cars heading for Russia’s Baltic port city of Saint Petersburg.
Chechen leader says his forces deployed to Ukraine
Ramzan Kadyrov has said Chechen fighters had been deployed in Ukraine, and he urged Ukrainians to overthrow their government.
US aid – $950m
US President Joe Biden signed a memorandum to provide up to $600m in “immediate military assistance” to Ukraine. Later in the day he also announced the approval of an additional $350m.
Germany and Netherlands to supply anti-tank weapons
Germany will supply Ukraine with 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles from Bundeswehr stocks. The Dutch government will supply 50 Panzerfaust-3 anti-tank weapons and 400 rockets.
Poland’s Deputy Interior Minister Pawel Szefernaker said 115,000 people had crossed the border into Poland from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion started.
Kremlin: Don’t mention ‘war’ or ‘invasion’
Russia ordered its media to remove reports describing its attack as an “assault, invasion, or declaration of war” or face being blocked.
Germany bows to SWIFT ban
Germany says it is working on excluding Russia from the SWIFT interbank system after coming under severe criticism for resisting EU efforts to impose the sanction.
Russia responds to sanctions
Russia will respond to sanctions by seizing funds of foreigners and foreign companies in Russia, RIA news agency quoted Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the security.
Macron fears long war
The world must brace for a long war between Russia and Ukraine, the French president warns, saying it will have “lasting consequences”.
Poland will not play Russia
Poland refuses to play a 2022 World Cup playoff with Russia in Moscow on March 24 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying, “It is time to act.”