Explosions from what Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called “horrific Russian rocket strikes” were heard in Ukraine’s capital on Friday morning amid unverified reports that the fighting had already reached the heart of Kyiv.
Russian media quoted anonymous officials in Moscow denying any airstrikes on Kyiv, but videos posted online showed what residents said were Russian tanks driving through their city, and gunfire was heard in the capital.
Ukrainian officials said Thursday that the country was fighting on multiple fronts to repel a “full-scale invasion,” as President Joe Biden accused Vladimir Putin of choosing to carry out “a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.”
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov doubled down Friday on Putin’s claim that the invasion was necessary to “demilitarize” Ukraine’s Western-backed government, which the Kremlin has labeled a “Nazi cell.” Lavrov said after Ukraine was “liberated from this burden, Ukrainians will have the chance to freely choose their future.”
But CBS News’ Haley Ott reported that Ukrainians were rushing to back up their country’s military forces, hoping to prevent any future on Russia’s terms.
Ott said people streamed into a makeshift recruitment center in Kyiv on Friday morning, saying they were ready to die to defend their city. One commander said thousands had reported for duty — very few of them with military experience. Guns were being distributed to those who showed up, and the commander said they were quickly running out.
Ukraine’s president said at least 137 people were killed in the first day of Russia’s assault, and with fighting reportedly reaching downtown Kyiv, that was likely to rise quickly. ( CBS News)