Russia has warned Ukraine of its plans to launch ‘high-precision strikes’ on the country’s capital – and told citizens to leave their homes immediately.
In a statement published this afternoon, the Russian defense ministry told residents of Kyiv that it is preparing to launch missiles at specific targets in the Ukrainian capital.
Russian officials said their armed forces are set to attack the “technological centers of the Ukrainian Security Service and the 72nd main PsyOps center in Kyiv”, the Mirror reports.
The statement read: “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.”
Officials claimed the strikes are being carried out to “prevent information attacks against Russia”.
Putin’s government is still denying it has invaded Ukraine and continues to claim it is carrying out a special operation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that in response to a request by the heads of what he calls “the Donbass republics” he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine.
The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had “no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.”
Russian Defense Ministry claims that their troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure.
It also states that “there are no threats to the civilian population.”
Despite Russia’s claims, Ukrainian 10-year-old Polina was killed alongside her mother and father by Russian troops while in a car in Kyiv on Saturday.
Dad Anton and wife Svetlana Zapadynskaya died, along with their middle daughter.
Their eldest daughter Sofia and youngest son Semyon were critically wounded and are now fighting for their lives.
Heartbreaking images show Semyon laying in a hospital bed on a ventilator, unaware his family were killed when Russian troops opened fire on a car fleeing Ukraine.
Pink-haired, Harry Potter-mad Polina was in her final year of primary school when she was killed.
A picture of the smiling schoolgirl was shared by deputy mayor of Kyiv, Vladimir Bondarenko.
He said: “Her name was Polina. She studied in the 4th grade of school in Kyiv. Her and her parents were shot by Russian DRG.”
Sixteen children have died and 45 wounded since last Thursday, with the death toll expected to rise further.
Seven-year-old Alisa Hlans was killed when her kindergarten was hit on Friday, while a six-year-old girl called Sofia Fedko and her brother Ivan, who was only a few weeks old, died when five members of the same family came under fire.
It comes as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) updated its estimate on the number of refugees that have left Ukraine, saying the total stands at more than 500,000 a figure that continues to rise.
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