Russia forces enter Ukraine's capital Kyiv

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the aim is to demilitarise Ukraine

In Summary
  • Russian troops in northern districts of the capital Kyiv, Ukraine says
  • Videos show armoured vehicles advancing through northern district of Kyiv
  • Russia has lost 450 personnel, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says
  • Several explosions have been heard in Kyiv
  • At least 33 civilian sites targeted by Russia, Ukraine says
  • Ukrainian President Zelensky addressed the nation and has appealed to Russia for a ceasefire
  • He says 137 Ukrainian citizens - both soldiers and civilians - died on Thursday
  • Champions League final moved from Russia to Paris
  • Zelensky spoke to UK PM Boris Johnson and pleaded with other Western allies to do more to stop Russia's assault
  • Russia has banned all UK-linked planes from its airspace
Regular servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard take positions in central Kyiv on Friday

The Russian forces who have reportedly entered the Ukrainian capital are seemingly centred around the northern district of Obolon.

The heavily residential area is just 9km north of Kyiv’s parliament and the city centre.

Just before 10am local time, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry tweeted that enemy Russian operatives were in the area

The defence ministry called on locals to rally and make Molotov cocktails to fight back

Meanwhile, several videos online appear to show armoured vehicles rolling down mostly-empty roads in Obolon

The BBC has verified that Obolon is the location seen in the videos

There are also videos appearing to show fighting between civilians and people in military uniform

Kyiv has also been attacked from the air, with residents taking shelter in underground railway stations.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has just been answering questions in a media briefing.

He repeats the line from Vladimir Putin that Moscow does not want to occupy Ukraine - but rather "demilitarise" it.

Asked whether it was Russia's wish to topple a democratic country, Lavrov implies the country cannot be called democratic.

He then makes claims about Ukraine's treatment of Russian-speaking people in the country.

Ukraine army recruiting over-60s as Kyiv braces

Earlier we reported that the Ukrainian Defence Force, in a tweet, had issued a call for civilian recruits, regardless of age.

The statement from the commander of troops had said: "No age restrictions" - indicating that minors might be allowed too.

However, a new statement from the Defence Minister Alexey Reznikov appears to clarify that the loosening in age restrictions refers to people over 60. It made no mention of minors.

"I decided, in agreement with the Commander of the Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine... to involve in the Troops of the Patriots [those] over 60 years old, who are morally and physically ready to resist and defeat the enemy," Mr Reznikov wrote.

China still declining to condemn Russia

Long-time Russian ally China is still declining to condemn Russia, with its foreign ministry refusing to call Russia's action against Ukraine an "invasion".

At a daily news briefing in Beijing, spokesman Wang Wenbin reiterated China's position that while it respected the territorial integrity of all countries, it also understood "Russia's legitimate concerns on security issues".

He added that China still recognised Ukraine as a legitimate state and believed the door to a political solution still had not shut in Ukraine, but did not give suggestions on how dialogue could take place.

He also did not say whether or not Beijing would recognise the self-declared breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east of Ukraine.

The BBC asked for a response to US President Joe Biden’s comment that “any nation which countenances Russia’s aggression in Ukraine will be stained by association”.

Wang responded that the "country whose reputation will be stained is that which interfered in other nation’s internal affairs in the name of human rights and which went on to wage wars”.

In terms of sanctions, he said that since 2011, the US had imposed more than 100 sanctions on Russia, yet they had not worked, and that sanctions would only cause suffering.

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