Russia has warned it will target areas in Kyiv, according to a new report.
The sixth day of Vladimir Putin's invasion in Ukraine has carried over a heavy toll: according to the UN, there's been 136 civilian casualties, including 13 children, plus 400 injured, most of which are the result of 'explosive weapons with a wide impact area'.
The 'barbaric' use of missile strikes has been widely condemned over the past week, with a recent attack on the Kharkiv region state administration building on Freedom Square killing at least 10 people and injuring 35 others.
As per BBC News, the Russian defence ministry has warned that it's preparing to hit targets in Kyiv, and urged nearby residents to leave their homes and find cover.
In a statement issued today, March 1, Russian officials said their forces are getting ready to launch 'high-precision strikes' in the Ukrainian capital, specifically targeting 'technological centres of the Ukrainian Security Service and the 72nd main PsyOps centre in Kyiv'.
'We urge Ukrainian citizens who are being used by nationalists to carry out provocations against Russia, as well as Kyiv residents residing near relay stations to leave their home,' the statement said, adding that the strikes have been ordered to 'prevent information attacks against Russia'.
'Russian Defence Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population,' the statement also notes, despite hundreds of civilian casualties as a result of the conflict.
Kalynivka, a town close to Kyiv.— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) March 1, 2022
This is what is left of a local house following a Russian missile strike pic.twitter.com/bOuiT6Kb66
Earlier commenting on the dangers for Ukrainian civilians, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said, 'The picture is grim — and could get worse still.'
'Aerial attacks and fighting in urban areas are damaging critical civilian facilities and disrupting essential services such as health, electricity, water and sanitation, which effectively leaves civilians without the basics for day-to-day life,' he added.
Videos and photos verified by The New York Times showed a residential building struck by a missile in southwestern Kyiv, about 1.5 miles from Sikorsky Memorial Airport, on Saturday morning. Videos showed rescue and evacuation efforts underway. https://t.co/1930FntITz pic.twitter.com/hHluNLHsIc— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 26, 2022
Shelling across the country has seen thousands of people hunkering down in Ukraine's subway stations. A further 150,000 people have fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries over the past day, bringing the total to 660,000 refugees.
Andrew Simmons, reporting for Al Jazeera, said a sense of 'dread' has been sweeping across the country. 'This whole country has a tremor of fear of right now on what is going to happen next,' he said.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
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