Russia hits more Ukraine targets, more countries urge evacuation of nationals

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Vehicles travel past the Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Feb. 24, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that Kiev decides to sever diplomatic relations with Moscow after Russia launched military operations in Donbass, the government-run Ukrinform news agency reported. (Xinhua/Li Dongxu)
Vehicles travel past the Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Feb. 24, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that Kiev decides to sever diplomatic relations with Moscow after Russia launched military operations in Donbass, the government-run Ukrinform news agency reported. (Xinhua/Li Dongxu)
Spining

The Russian Armed Forces have struck Ukrainian military objects with air- and sea-based cruise missiles, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Saturday.

“In total, the Russian Armed Forces hit 821 military infrastructure objects of Ukraine. Among them: 14 military airfields, 19 control points and communication centers, 24 S-300 and Osa anti-aircraft missile systems, 48 radar stations,” Konashenkov said, according to a statement published by the ministry.

“I would like to emphasize once again that only military facilities are subject to attack, no damage is caused to residential and social infrastructure,” he added.

Konashenkov also said that the Russian Armed Forces have established full control over the southern Ukrainian city of Melitopol, which the Russian Defense Ministry said earlier in the day that the Russian military had entered without meeting resistance.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday in a video message that Ukraine has successfully beat off “enemy attacks,” but battles are ongoing across the country.

He refuted reports that the country’s army will disarm and evacuate.

“We will not lay down any weapons, we believe in our army and our country. We will protect it. Glory to Ukraine!” Zelensky said, noting that he did not leave Kiev, which was under heavy shelling overnight.

He said on Twitter that “partners” are sending weapons to help Kiev, adding that he had spoken by phone with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.
Zelensky also called on the European Union to grant Ukraine membership into the bloc.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Facebook that Ukraine shot down a Russian transport plane IL-76 near Vasylkiv town in Kiev.

According to a report by the government-run Ukrinform news agency, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said Saturday that a missile hit an apartment building on the southwestern outskirts of the city, but no casualties were immediately reported.

Klitschko said at least 35 Kiev residents, including two children, were injured in clashes with Russian forces or shelling.

According to Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko, 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed in the past few days.

Amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Israeli Foreign Ministry said Saturday that it has decided to evacuate its embassy from the western Ukranian city of Lviv to Poland.

Lebanon’s Foreign Affairs Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said Saturday that Lebanon will evacuate its nationals who have already fled Ukraine to nearby European countries.

Also on Saturday, the Congolese government said in a statement that it has set up a crisis unit to identify and protect Congolese nationals living in Ukraine.

Ghana’s Foreign Ministry said late Friday that the country has put measures in place to evacuate its nationals from Ukraine. Enditem

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