Russia-Ukraine war, day three. Timeline of events, February, 26
The war Russia waged against Ukraine
Russia attacked Ukraine early in the morning on February 24, 2022. After shelling Kiev and other towns with ballistic missiles, Russian tanks entered Ukraine and ground fighting began. Timeline of events, day three, February, 26.
Live updates: Fighting in Ukraine after the Russian invasion, day four, February 27 HERE
Summary of events by 01.00: Banderovski smoothies
“It’s expected that Kiev might get heavily bombed in the very near future”, said Irina Gerashenko, head of the European Solidarity Factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. An air alarm sounds in Kiev. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine asks citizens to turn off geolocation on their phones: “The enemy is able to navigate by accumulations of mobile traffic”.
VIDEO: Filmed near the central station in Kyiv:
According to the Ukrainian authorities, the Russian military is near Kyiv, on the night of Saturday there were local clashes in the city. The Russian Defense Ministry did not report being on the outskirts of Kiev or in the city. The Kremlin said that earlier Putin ordered to suspend the offensive in view of possible negotiations with Kiev. But after the negotiations did not take place, the order was given to continue the offensive. The Russian Defense Ministry announced a few hours ago that the offensive would continue on all fronts.
Since the beginning of the shelling of Kyiv, 6 civilians have died, including 1 child and 14 soldiers. 71 people were injured – 25 civilians, including 3 children – the mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko says.
Fighting has continued all day across a significant part of the territory of Ukraine – Nikolaev, Kharkov, Mariupol and others report.
The mayor of Lviv, Sadov, called on the townspeople to make Molotov cocktails for the enemy and came up with a different name for them: “Bandera smoothie”.
Ukraine has destroyed all railroad crossings linking it to Russia, a Ukrainian rail operator said. The company intends to completely reorient its work towards Europe, bypassing Russia.
US President Joe Biden said in an interview: “Nothing like this [has ever happened before]. We had two options: start the third world war – or make a country that grossly violates international law finally pay for it. There are no sanctions that will make an immediate change. We cannot just say: “You will no longer be the president of Russia”. But these sanctions are the most powerful in history. Both economically and politically”.
“I informed the President of Georgia and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic about the current situation. [We talked] about concrete help. Thanks to our friends for their support”, President Zelensky said.
Azerbaijan will help Ukraine with petrol and has already sent humanitarian aid. This agreement was the result of a telephone conversation between Presidents Zedensky and Aliyev. So far, this is the first and only case since the beginning of the war of negotiations between Zelensky and the leader of a CIS member state.
Latvia sends more than 30 trucks with military supplies and medical equipment to Ukraine – Latvian Defense Ministry
Germany will supply Ukraine with anti-tank grenade launchers and Stinger missiles.
Instagram has labeled accounts owned by pro-Kremlin media. TASS, RIA Novosti, Russia Todey and Sputnik have already received the sign “Russian state-controlled media”.
Azerbaijan will provide Ukraine with free petrol
Azerbaijan will help Ukraine with fuel, this is the result of negotiations between Presidents Vladimir Zelensky and Ilham Aliyev. At SOCAR gas stations in Ukraine, free petrol will be provided to all vehicles of Ukrainian social services, primarily ambulances. There are 59 SOCAR gas stations stations in Ukraine.
Zelensky wrote a post of gratitude for the medical and humanitarian assistance provided to Ukraine. So far, this is the first and only case since the beginning of the war of negotiations between Zelensky and the leader of a CIS member state.
An Azerbaijani transport plane is flying to Ukraine, presumably with humanitarian cargo.
Tbilisi rally in support of Ukraine
A large-scale rally was held in Tbilisi in support of Ukraine and against Russian aggression. This is the third rally in Georgia’s capital. Rallies were also held on the day that Russia attacked Ukraine and yesterday, when thousands of people came out to say “We are ashamed of our government”.
Summary of events by 22.00: Battle for Kharkiv is ongoing
There is a battle for the city in Kharkiv. Powerful cannonade is heard, the sky is covered in flashes from explosions. Video of local residents from social media:
All over Ukraine there are battles for villages and cities, fighting continues on the outskirts of Kiyv. In general, the positions of the parties did not change throughout the day.
Zelenskiy’s office has reported the deaths of 3,500 Russian soldiers since the beginning of the Russian intervention on February 24. Russia has not released any reports of casualties.
The administration of Donetsk reported civilian casualties. On February 26, a Russian attack killed 19 civilians and wounded 73. Among the victims are two children.
The National Police of Ukraine also reported that as a result of Russian shelling of the village of Sartan in the Donetsk region, 4 people were killed and 9 were injured. There is a child among the wounded.
UK Ministry of Defense: “The movement of Russian troops has been slowed down throughout the day, allegedly due to serious logistical problems and strong resistance from the Ukrainian armed forces and population”.
“The main goal of the Russian military is still Kyiv. A limited number of Russian saboteurs participated in night clashes in the capital”, the British Ministry of Defense.
All EU countries agreed to disconnect Russian banks from SWIFT. “The Ukrainian diplomacy worked to make this happen. And now the technical preparations for the withdrawal of Russia from this system have already begun”, Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said. The Bell reports that Mastercard cards of Russian banks that have fallen under sanctions will stop working on February 26th.
Putin’s press secretary Peskov reported constant cyberattacks on the websites of the Kremlin and the government. Both sites were down most of the day.
The Swedish national football team, following the Polish national team, refused to play with Russia in the 2022 World Cup play-offs due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, AFP reports.
Thousands of peaceful rallies in support of Ukraine continue around the world. Today, people took to the streets of Ankara, Barcelona, London, Tallinn, Tel Aviv, as well as in Moscow and many Russian cities. Large-scale rallies took place in Tbilisi on February 24 and 25, and one is going on in the city centre right now. In 27 Russian cities, 211 participants in anti-war rallies have been detained, OVD-info reports.
VIDEO. Brutal detention of anti-war rally in St. Petersburg. OVD-info
Summary of events by 19.00: No negotiations in sight
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia offered negotiations, but Ukraine refused. Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the President of Ukraine, said in response that the Ukrainian side refused not negotiations, but the conditions put forward by Russia: “The conditions that the Russian side transmitted through intermediaries do not satisfy us. It was an attempt to force us to surrender. We signalled to them that the terms of a possible peace treaty are possible on the terms of Kyiv, not Moscow”.
Putin’s spokesman Peskov said that for the sake of possible negotiations, the advance of the main Russian troops was stopped. Now traffic has resumed.
In Kyiv, a curfew was introduced from 17.00 to 08.00. All civilians who are on the street at this time will be considered saboteurs, Mayor Klitschko said.
Royal Navy ships, British Army troops and Royal Air Force fighters have been deployed in eastern Europe to bolster NATO’s eastern front, according to a statement from the UK’s Ministry of Defence on Saturday. “HMS Trent is in the eastern Mediterranean, conducting NATO exercises with Merlin Helicopters and RAF P8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft”, the statement said. HMS Diamond, a destroyer, will join from Portsmouth. Tanks and armoured vehicles “have arrived in Estonia from Germany, more equipment and a 1,000 more troops will arrive over the coming days”, the ministry added. The statement added that Typhoon fighter jets “flying from bases in Cyprus and the UK are now patrolling NATO airspace over Romania and Poland alongside NATO allies with Voyager air-to-air refuelling aircraft in support”.
NEW SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA
Prime Minister of Lithuania: “There are no European countries that do not agree with the proposal to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT international system of interbank payments”.
The UK canceled the visas of the Belarusian basketball team due to Minsk’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On 27 February the team was due to play in Newcastle, in the north of England.
Australia has suspended the broadcast of Russia Today.
Romania has joined more than ten countries that have closed their airspace to Russian aircraft.
International airlines have started to cancel flights to Russia. This was announced today by the Latvian airline AirBaltic and the Polish airline LOT.
Russia has closed its airspace to aircraft from Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic, the Federal Air Transport Agency said.
“Russia was preparing for sanctions in advance – they were all predictable. Russia will prepare retaliatory measures”, Peskov said.
The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, published a video in which a Chechen National Guard hoisted a Chechen flag on the gates of what Kadyrov claims to be a Ukrainian military base. He did not specify when and where the video was filmed. Kadyrov once again called on Zelensky to apologize: “Call Russian President Vladimir Putin, ask him for forgiveness, do it for the sake of preserving Ukraine and its people, go to all the conditions that Russia demands. This will be the most correct step for you to save your face”, Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel.
Summary of events by 15.30: “There is a fight going on here, I need ammunition, not evacuation” - Zelensky
“Ukraine is successfully repelling Russian attacks, the Ukrainian army controls Kyiv and key cities of the country”, President Zelensky said in a new video message. He said that there is information that Russian sabotage groups have entered Kyiv.
He also addressed the Russians: “The sooner you tell your government that the war needs to be stopped, the more of your people will stay alive. Many in Russia are shocked by the meanness and cruelty of the authorities. Thank you for this response”. Zelensky said that since the beginning of the aggression against Ukraine, “thousands of Russians have been killed, hundreds have been captured”, although he did not prove this in any way. The Russian Defense Ministry did not report casualties among its military.
Zelensky refused the US offer to evacuate, saying: “There is a fight going on here, I need ammunition, not a trip”. The President of Ukraine remains “the main target of Russian aggression”, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the day before. Zelensky himself spoke about this as well.
The US State Department urged American citizens to immediately leave the territory of Belarus.
The UNIAN agency reports powerful explosions in Kharkiv.
Ministry of Health of Ukraine: 198 civilians have died in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, including three children. 1,115 people were injured, including 33 children.
Airspace for Russian airlines has already been closed by Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and the UK.
Checkpoints are being set up around Lviv in western Ukraine. This is where most of the embassies relocated from Kyiv. The mayor of the city said that everyone who enters and leaves will be checked. Today, sirens have sounded several times in Kharkiv, local authorities urged residents to go to nearby bomb shelters.
PHOTO: Family traveling from Kiyv to Lviv, Western Ukraine. More than 120,000 Ukrainians have left the country since Thursday, UN reports. 25 February. Umit Bektas/Reuters
Summary of events by 13.30: "We should lock up Western embassies in Russia" - Medvedev
In Kyiv, a multi-storey residential building in the Zhuliany district, close to the airport, was destroyed by a missile attack. According to preliminary data, there are no casualties, the number of victims is still unknown, evacuation is underway. VIDEO: residents are being evacuated from the damaged house:
President of Ukraine Zelensky demanded that Ukraine be immediately admitted to the European Union: “The decisive moment has come to end the long-term discussion once and for all and decide on Ukraine’s membership in the European Union”.
Kyiv Metro now only operates as a shelter. Trains will not be running anymore, Mayor Klitschko said.
Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Medvedev made several scandalous statements, in particular:
- “It’s time to close the embassies with barn locks. It is necessary to completely stop diplomatic relations with countries that have imposed sanctions [on Russia]. It is possible, after all, to abandon everything in principle, including the START-3 treaty. And continue contacts by observing each other only through binoculars and weapon optics.
- “In the event of the arrest of the money of Russians and Russian companies abroad, the nationalization of property in the Russian Federation of those persons who are registered in unfriendly jurisdictions such as the United States and EU countries is not ruled out”.
Russian Ministry of Defense: Russian armed forces are in full control of Melitopol; Russian troops disabled 821 military facilities, shot down 7 aircraft, 7 helicopters and 9 drones, destroyed 87 tanks and armored vehicles, as well as 8 military boats of the Ukrainian Navy. Nothing is reported about the losses of the Russian armed forces.
In Russia, independent publications including Mediazona, Novaya Gazeta, Dozhd and several others are being threatened. The authorities accuse them of spreading fakes for calling what is happening in Ukraine a war, demanding the removal of materials and threaten to block them if they do not comply.
The Poland national football team refused to play with Russia in the 2022 World Cup play-off due to Russian military aggression in Ukraine. “We are negotiating with the federations of Sweden and the Netherlands in order to convey a common position to FIFA”, the president of the Polish Football Union, Cesarii Kulesza, tweeted. Previously, the rugby match between Georgia and Russia, which was supposed to take place on February 27, was postponed indefinitely.
The Moldovan authorities blocked the Russian pro-government website Sputnik Moldova. From March 7, the broadcasting of the radio station “Sputnik Moldavia” will be stopped.
PHOTO: A child born in the Kiev metro which was turned into a shelter. The girl was named Mia.
Multi-storey residential building destroyed by a rocket strike in Kiyv
In Kyiv, a multi-storey residential building on Lobanovsky Avenue, 6 was destroyed by a rocket attack. This is Zhuliany, close to the airport. The Emergency Situations Service reported that according to preliminary data, there were no victims, the number of injured is still unknown, and evacuation is underway
Summary of events by 10.00: Kyiv under control of Ukraine, fighting continues
Oleksiy Danilo, Secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine: At the moment, Kyiv is under the control of the armed forces of Ukraine and its citizens. But the authorities are asking Kyiv residents to stay at home or seek shelter nearby as fighting rages on the streets of the city. The media report that the fighting is ongoing across the city, as well as in the city centre. A CNN correspondent reported on traces of rocket launches from the ground:
Ukrainian forces reported the destruction of two trucks, two cars and a tank in the Beresteiska metro area in Kyiv. Earlier it was reported that a Russian military transport aircraft Il-76 and a helicopter were shot down at night.
The mayor of the city of Vasilkov (24 km from Kyiv) Natalya Balasinovich said that the fighting in the city was coming to an end. The city remains under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russian troops landed in Vasilkov yesterday, fighting continued all night in the city center.
A military unit on Dekabristov continues to fight for an air base. Vasilkov is located 30 kilometers from the Ukrainian capital and overlooks the strategic Kyiv-Odessa highway.
Office of the President of Ukraine: During the war, about 3,500 Russian soldiers were killed, 200 were captured.
US President Joe Biden authorized) immediate assistance to Ukraine in the amount of up to $ 600 million – 350 of them for defense, the remaining 250 Kyiv can dispose of at its discretion.
UN Secretary General António Guterres: 100,000 Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes.
Facebook banned Russian state-owned media from advertising and monetization. Head of Facebook’s security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said Russian state-owned media would also be additionally labelled.
Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton said on his Instagram: “When we see injustice, it is very important to fight it. My heart goes out to the brave people of Ukraine who have undergone such a test simply because they wanted a better future for themselves. And I also support the many Russians who oppose this violence and want peace at the risk of their freedom. We are praying for you”.
Madonna came out in support of Ukraine. The singer posted on her Instagram: “Russia’s senseless, greedy invasion of Ukraine MUST be stopped!”:View this post on Instagram
PHOTO: At night, someone put up an anti-war poster in St. Petersburg with a quote from “What I have to say” song Witten by Russian classic Alexander Vertinsky (1920s):
I don’t know who would need it and what was their reason, Who’s sent them to their deaths with unquivering hand, They’ve been granted no mercy when people were easing Their bodies in wet graveyard sand.
Nikol Pashinyan: "Anti-Russian will have a significant impact on the economic atmosphere in the Eurasian region"
“Western sanctions on Russia sparked by its attack on Ukraine will have a significant impact on the economic atmosphere in the Eurasian region. Sensitive geopolitical processes are underway, and prompt decisions must be made to reduce the negative impact of sanctions”, the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan stressed during a meeting with the leaders of the EAEU member states (under Russia’s leadership) in Kazakhstan on February 25.
This is the first time Pashinyan made a public comment on the ongoing events since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Summary of events by 07.00 am: Fighting in Kyiv, US and Canada impose sanctions against Putin
Since the middle of the night there are fights on the streets of Kyiv, shootouts, machine-gun bursts, explosions. Authorities demanded that local residents go to shelters.
Fighting is ongoing on Pobedy Avenue in Kyiv near the Beresteyskaya metro station, the bridge has been blown up there. The 101st separate security brigade of the General Staff of Ukraine is stationed there.
Heavy fighting is ongoing for the city of Vasilkov, Kiyv region and in the Kherson region. There is a military unit and an airfield, where, as reported by the Ukrainian military, Russian paratroopers tried to land, after which fighting began.
General Staff of Ukraine: At about 6 am, Ukrainian air defense shot down an IL-76 with a Russian landing force, presumably near Vasilkov in the Kiev region. Also, an attack on one of the military units on Victory Avenue in Kyiv was repulsed.
President of Ukraine Zelensky addressed the people from Kyiv: “We must survive this night, the fate of Ukraine is being decided right now. The night will be very difficult”ю According to The Washington Post, he refused a US offer to evacuate him so that he would not be captured or killed. Zelensky has previously said that the Kremlin identified him as “target number one,” and his family is “target number two”. “They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state,” he said, and a few hours later posted a video of himself being surrounded by key leaders of the country, indicating that they were all in Kyiv.
VIDEO: Victory Avenue in Kyiv at 5 am on February 26
Russian Defense Ministry: Russian units entered Melitopol without encountering resistance.
The US Treasury has officially imposed sanctions against Putin. “The Ministry of Finance rarely imposes sanctions on heads of state. Putin is joining a very small group of despots such as Kim Jong-un, Alexander Lukashenko and Bashar al-Assad”, it said in a statement.
The United States also imposed sanctions against Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Defense Minister Shoigu, as well as against members of the Russian Security Council. Earlier, sanctions against Putin and Lavrov were introduced by the European Union and Great Britain.
The European Union has imposed sanctions against Dmitry Medvedev and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
The EU suspends the visa facilitation agreement with Russia from February 28.
Canada imposes sanctions against Putin and the Russian Federation, as well as the leadership of Belarus. “We demand to immediately withdraw Russia from the SWIFT international banking system”, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland also said.
Bulgaria, following Poland and the Czech Republic, closed its airspace for Russian aircraft.
Russia vetoed a UN resolution condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine. 11 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, 1 voted against, 3 abstained (China, India, UAE). Now this issue will be considered at the UN General Assembly, where Russia’s veto does not work.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed Russians in Russian and Ukrainians in Ukrainian: “Putin’s actions lead to the complete isolation of Russia, the shutdown by the international community, the impact of economic sanctions and a senseless bloody war that has already claimed countless lives of both Ukrainians and Russian soldiers who will never see their families again. […] As Prime Minister of Great Britain, I speak on behalf of the whole country “Glory to Ukraine!”
Zelensky turned to the Prime Minister of Israel with a request to become a mediator in negotiations with Russia. Zelensky’s spokesman, Sergei Nikiforov, denied Moscow’s claims that Kyiv has backed out of the talks. “Ukraine was and remains ready to talk about a ceasefire and peace. This is our permanent position. We agreed to the proposal of the President of the Russian Federation. Right now, the parties are consulting on the place and time of the negotiation process. The sooner negotiations begin, the more chances there will be to resume normal life”, UNIAN quotes him as saying.
“Vladimir Zelensky can be dealt with by a tribunal that will be arranged by the new authorities in Kyiv”, said Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s permanent representative to the European Union, in an interview with Euractiv.
Putin’s statement late on February 25 calling for the Ukrainian military to take power into their own hands differed from previous ones as it was not pre-recorded. Experts say this is the first time Putin has directly reacted to events.
Russia plans to threaten to kill Ukrainian soldiers and their families if they refuse to surrender. American intelligence has such information, reports CNN.
Russian NGOs appealed to Putin to stop the war against Ukraine, the appeal was signed by 38 organizations.
The war must be stopped immediately, said a member of the Communist Party faction Mikhail Matveev. “When voting for the recognition of the DNR/LNR, I voted for peace, not for war – for Putin’s Russia to become a shield so that Donbas is not bombed, and not for Kyiv being bombed”. Earlier, another State Duma deputy from the Communist Party, Oleg Smolin, spoke out against the war.
VIDEO: Bomb shelter in Kyiv