| Last updated
Russian troops have reportedly overtaken the Antonov international airport in Ukraine amid an invasion launched by Vladimir Putin today, February 24.
The country closed its airspace to civilian flights after Russia launched its full-scale invasion and troops have now reportedly taken steps to overtake Antonov Airport, located about 25 miles away from the capital city of Kyiv.
Breaking: @mchancecnn with Russian forces at the Antonov airport about 15 miles outside of Kyiv. "These troops you can see over here, they are Russian airborne forces. They have taken this airport" pic.twitter.com/SnvmwQ1GeA— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 24, 2022
CNN reporter Matthew Chance, who is on the ground in Ukraine, said the airport was taken over by Russian troops identified with orange and black bands on their arms.
He said: 'They've allowed us to come in and be with them as they defend the perimeter of this airbase, where the helicopter-borne troops were landed in the early hours of the morning to make and perform an air bridge to allow for more troops to come in.'
The commander of the unit told CNN a fire fight took place as the troops sought to gain control, presumably between the Russian troops and the Ukrainian military, which says it is staging a counteroffensive to try and regain control of Antonov Airport.
Chance said aircraft could be heard in the air around the airport, and that there is a 'plume of black smoke, gray smoke, brown smoke, coming up from inside the compound of the air base.'
He added: 'I think there are jets in the sky above us.'
Footage filmed near the airport showed the Russian troops carrying equipment just minutes after the fire fight came to an end.
Ukraine acknowledged a high risk to flight safety as it shut its airports, citing the use of weapons and military equipment, while the European Union Aviation Safety Agency issued a warning about flying in airspace near to Ukraine's borders, including in Russia.
Per BBC News, it said: 'There is a risk of both intentional targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft. The presence and possible use of a wide range of ground and airborne warfare systems poses a high risk for civil flights operating at all altitudes and flight levels.'
Russia’s Defence Ministry has claimed its military has destroyed 74 Ukrainian military facilities, including 11 air bases, since the invasion began this morning, AP News reports.
When he announced the 'special military operation', Putin claimed Russia's plans were 'not to occupy Ukraine'.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read