Ukrainian forces claimed on Friday to have hit an airfield in Millerovo in Rostov, southern Russia – the latest blow to Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Footage posted online purports to show the tail end of a missile strike on the Russian military’s airbase around 10am local time (8am GMT) with several buildings on the site engulfed in flames and destroying at least one of Moscow’s Su-30SM fighter jets in the blast.
As of early Friday, Ukraine had claimed to have shot down six Russian helicopters, up to seven fighter jets, including one overnight, destroyed at least 30 tanks, killed or captured more than 800 troops.
Russian officials have made similar claims – that Moscow has captured more than 160 troops; destroyed 74 Ukrainian military ground facilities; downed five fighter jets and one helicopter; and destroyed 18 tanks and other armoured vehicles.
By Friday morning, the battle for Kyiv had begun after fighting broke out in 20 miles from the city in the early hours before clashes were reported in a northern district just a few hours later. At least 37 Ukrainians, among them several civilians, have been killed and hundreds more injured in fighting in the past 24 hours.
Kyiv’s military, which was left to face Moscow alone after NATO and the US confirmed they would not put boots in the ground, is far inferior to its Russian counterpart with an air defense system and air force dating back to the Soviet era.
Few expect Ukraine to emerge victorious from what is almost certain to be a prolonged, bloody, and vicious war – but so far, Kyiv’s forces have managed to inflict heavy losses on Putin’s troops.
Footage posted online purports to show the tail end of a missile strike on the Russian military’s airbase around 10am local time (8am GMT) with several buildings on the site engulfed in flames
Ukrainian forces claimed on Friday to have destroyed part of an airfield in Millerovo in southern Russia, destroying several of Moscow’s fighter jets
As of early Friday, Ukraine had claimed to have shot down six Russian helicopters, destroyed dozens of tanks and captured dozens of troops, among them at least 10 soldiers (pictured) from Volnovakha in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic
Flaming wreckage is seen falling from the skies over Kyiv, as Ukraine claimed to have shot down a Russian fighter jet
Ukraine claimed to have shot down a Russian jet over the outskirts of Kyiv overnight, with wreckage falling on a house and leaving several people injured
Helicopters, jets and planes
Ukrainian forces downed a Russian fighter jet over Kyiv early on Friday and later hit an airfield in Millerovo in Rostov, southern Russia, destroying at least one Su-30SM around 10am local time (8am GMT).
Meanwhile by late Thursday forces had claimed to have shot down at least six helicopters, including four Russian KA-52 Alligator attack helicopters during a battle for Gostomel air base on Thursday. A fifth helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at the field under heavy fire.
Just after midday on Thursday, the skies over Kyiv swarmed with a squadron of 20 Russian helicopters which pounded the air base’s runway.
But Ukrainian ground forces launched a fight-back, moving in to retake the air field as jets streaking over the city, shooting down the Russian helicopters.
The attack underlined just how close the invaders were to the capital. Soon after, the distant roar of fighter jets high above the city stoked another wave of panic.
The Ukrainians also reported their MiG jets shot down at least one Mi-8 helicopter.
Ukrainian forces also claimed to have shot down six Russian jets sky over the eastern Donbass region while another plane appeared to fall from the skies near the capital.
Shortly after 7pm GMT on Tuesday, Russia’s defence ministry said a Russian Antonov An-26 transport plane carrying military equipment crashed in its southern Voronezh region near Ukraine, killing all crew members on board.
‘During a planned flight to transport military equipment, an An-26 aircraft of the Russian aerospace forces crashed,’ the defence ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.
‘The crew died,’ the statement said, without providing any details.
The defence ministry blamed equipment failure for the crash, which it said had not caused any destruction on the ground.
A defence ministry spokesman, speaking to AFP, confirmed the crash but declined to say how many crew members had been killed.
An-26 planes carry up to six crew members and up to 38 military personnel. Overall, the Ukrainian armed forces claimed to have shot down five aircraft and six helicopters.
Ukrainian forces downed a Russian fighter jet over Kyiv early on Friday (pictured, the wreckage) and later hit an airfield in Millerovo in Rostov, southern Russia, destroying at least one Su-30SM around 10am local time (8am GMT)
Firefighters attempt to extinguish the flaming wreckage of an aircraft which was shot down over Kyiv on Friday morning
By Friday morning, the battle for Kyiv had begun after fighting broke out in 20 miles from the city in the early hours before clashes were reported in a northern district just a few hours later
A Russian helicopter is shot down somewhere over Kyiv (left), while the wreckage of what appears to be a jet falls from the skies near the capital (right)
An image captured near Kyiv shows what appears to be the wreckage of a downed Russian attack helicopter with a soldier parachuting out of it (to the left of the frame)
Five helicopters were downed or destroyed in the Gostomel region, including this one which was forced to make an emergency landing under heavy fire as Ukrainian forces retook the air field
Ukrainian forces destroyed dozens of Russian tanks along the eastern and northern borders by the end of the day on Thursday, adding two more and a fighting vehicle in Trohizbenko to the tally early on Friday.
According to the country’s defence ministry, the figure was higher than 30 by the end of Thursday. They also claimed to have destroyed ‘up to’ 130 armoured combat vehicles.
Ukrainian forces put up a stiff resistance around Kharkiv where multiple Russian tanks and armoured vehicles were pictured destroyed – with bodies lying in the streets.
Later, another BMP fighting vehicle was captured, along with the crew of four Russian soldiers, in the same region in eastern Ukraine.
And around 2pm local time (12pm GMT) the Ukrainian military said troops had destroyed five armoured transport vehicles and a car during fighting at the Vistupovich-Rudnya border point between Ukraine and Belarus.
A further 15 T-72 tanks were destroyed or damaged by the Ukrainian forces using the Javelin PTRK, an American anti-tank missile, nearly Glukhov in the country’s east late this afternoon.
In other incidents, tank-busting rocket launchers donated by Britain were said to have destroyed Russian tanks, while Javelin missiles gifted by Sweden destroyed a column of enemy vehicles.
At least 15 T-72 tanks were destroyed or damaged by the Ukrainian forces using the Javelin PTRK, an American anti-tank missile, nearly Glukhov in the country’s east late this afternoon
A BMP fighting vehicle was captured, along with four Russian soldiers, during fighting near Kharkiv, in the east of Ukraine, on Thursday morning
Dozens of Russian troops have been captured by Ukrainian forces, Kyiv’s ministry of defence has claimed. Britain’s Ministry of Defence put Moscow’s losses around 450, though it was not clear if that included captured or dead soldiers.
Videos posted by the Ukrainian MoD early on Friday purported to show at least nine captured Russian soldiers while a further ten, many of them bloodied, were pictured being detained near Volnovakha in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
Several Russian troops videoed by their captors have claimed they believed they were conducting training exercises in the border regions and did not know they were being sent to invade Ukraine.
The claim was echoed by the brigade commander of the 74th brigade of motorcycle rifles, believed to be a reconnaissance platoon made up of 20 to 50 soldiers, who allegedly surrendered to Ukrainian forces during fighting on Thursday.
Commander Konstantin Buynichev is said to have claimed he only learned of the invasion on Wednesday and believed they were returning home.
He allegedly said: ‘Nobody thought that we were going to kill. We were not going to fight – we were collecting information.’
The announcement of Buynichev and his troops’ capture was posted by the Ukrainian MoD with a picture of a the commander with a bandaged arm and wearing a bloodied uniform which appeared to say ‘Russian Army’.
Videos posted by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence early on Friday purported to show at least nine captured Russian soldiers
Several Russian troops videoed by their captors have claimed they believed they were conducting training exercises in the border regions and did not know they were being sent to invade Ukraine
A Russian vehicle with what appear to be corpses of Russian troops laying nearby is seen on the streets of Kyiv on Friday after fighting broke out in the suburbs
Ukrainian forces detain servicemen of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic who were captured during the Thursday morning attack on the town of Schast’ye
Servicemen from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic were captured by the Ukrainian military on Thursday morning, hours after Russia launched an invasion of the country
Ukrainian forces detain troops from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic on Thursday morning
The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces later said his soldiers had captured the entire 74th brigade of motorcycle rifles. The announcement was posted with a picture of a man with a bandaged arm and bloody uniform which appeared to say ‘Russian Army’
The body of a soldier, without insignia, who the Ukrainian military claim is a Russian army serviceman killed in fighting, lies on a road outside the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine
Early Thursday, Ukrainian forces said they had captured two Russian soldiers, identified as Rafik Rakhmankulov, 19 and Mgomd Mgomdov, 26, from Kizilyurt, along with a cache of weapons and knives during fighting outside Kharkiv, in the east of Ukraine.
A further four Russian soldiers, the crew of a BMP fighting vehicle, were captured by Ukrainian forces near Luhansk on Thursday morning.
They were pictured lying face-down with their jackets pulled over their heads after being captured by Kyiv’s troops.
Ukrainian service members were also pictured on Thursday detaining troops from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic after they were captured during an attack on the town of Schast’ye in the morning.
Estimates of dead and injured were almost non-existent as of early afternoon but one Ukrainian official put the Russian death toll at around 50.
Two Russian troops – believed to be Rafik Rakhmankulov, 19 (left) and Mgomd Mgomdov, 26, from Kizilyurt (right) – have been captured by Ukrainian forces in the country’s east
Weapons and knives seized from two Russian soldiers captured by Ukrainian units fighting around Kharkiv
The crew of a Russian BMP fighting vehicle are seen face-down with jackets pulled over their heads (left) after being captured by Ukrainian forces (their vehicle is pictured, right)
Russia claimed on Friday that more than 160 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered to Moscow’s troops.
The Russian Ministry of Defence said the troops were of ‘different security structures’, but it was not clear what this meant and the statement did not provide details.
At least 11 of the troops reportedly laid down their weapons during fighting in a city in the country’s south known to Ukrainians as Mykolaiv, and to Russians as Nikolaev.
Moscow claimed the soldiers would be ‘returned to their families’ after the situation was ‘stabilised’.
Russia has also claimed strikes launched by its military yesterday had destroyed 74 Ukrainian military ground facilities, 11 airfields, three command posts and 18 radar stations controlling Kyiv’s anti-aircraft batteries.
Later reports claimed Moscow had downed one of Ukraine’s helicopters, five fighter jets and five drone aircraft and destroyed 18 tanks and other armored vehicles, seven flashlight jet systems, 41 units of special military vehicle equipment and five warships.
A Russian plane crashed near Voronezh on Thursday in what is believed to have been a technical failure. All those on board perished – it is unclear how many