Ukrainians are waking up on Friday morning to the realization that the previous day was not just a bad dream. Their country is being invaded by Russia, their capital city targeted by strikes.
A number of loud bangs rang through Kyiv at daybreak and air raid sirens repeatedly sounded on the deserted streets.
An apartment building on the left bank of the city was ablaze overnight after apparently being hit by debris.
In another incident, a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet was shot down over the capital. Pictures from the emergency services showed a two-story home on fire after fragments of a plane fell on it, although it was unclear if they were from the Su-27 jet.
While an overnight curfew officially lifted at 7 am, the city remained eerily quiet with many residents choosing to stay inside. Many others have already escaped Kyiv – the roads heading west of the capital were jam-packed on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the country’s airborne assault troops blew up a bridge over the Teteriv River at Ivankiv, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Kyiv, in an effort to prevent a column of Russian forces from advancing toward the capital.
While the ministry said the Russian advance was stopped, the information will provide little comfort to the residents sheltering in place in Kyiv.
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