Kyiv plunges into chaos as Russia launches 'special military operation' against Ukraine
Kyiv, February 25, 2022
Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, has plunged into chaos after Russian forces launched a military offensive against the country on Thursday.
Terrified people have been queuing for hours to get fuel, food and medicine.
Many left Kyiv to seek shelter in western Ukraine, building up kilometres-long traffic jams, Xinhua news agency reported.
"We were not able to leave, there were terrible traffic jams... We saw people walking from Kyiv just along the highway, with children, animals, suitcases," 28-year-old Iryna told Xinhua.
Iryna was forced to return to her home in Kyiv.
"Today we will sleep in the dressing room, there are no windows there," Iryna said.
Oksana, a 40-year-old manager, said she was hiding in an underground parking area after an air defense alarm in Kyiv.
"I keep my bag at the door, I'm afraid that the attack on the city will continue," Oksana said.
Oksana lives on the left bank of Kyiv. She said explosions were heard near her home the whole day.
"Like all people in my country, I am scared," she added, crying.
Meanwhile, chilling videos showed Russian helicopter gunships sweeping over Ukraine to attack an airport just miles from Kyiv, The Sun reported.
Russian choppers can be seen hurtling over the landscape as they attacked the military base at Gostomel airport, the report said.
Ukrainian officials said they managed to down at least three of the aircraft -- but the Russians had managed to seize control of the area.
Kyiv's presidential office said there was "fierce fighting" at the airport.
In some of most dramatic footage of the invasion so far, the helicopters are seen flying low and appearing to be firing flares as they moved in, The Sun reported.
Smoke is seen rising in the background from the devastated landscape amid the bloodshed which has plunged Europe into a new crisis.
The craft are believed to be a mix of Ka-52 Alligators, Mi-8s and Mi-24 military attack helicopters.
Elsewhere, fighter planes were seen flying low over Kyiv -- while a Ukrainian An-26 transport plane was shot down, killing 5 people, the report added.
Russia launched a full scale invasion as they assaulted 25 cities, destroyed 75 military installations and 11 air bases.
Troops and tanks surged across the border -- many of them emblazoned with the now infamous "Z" symbol -- sparking bloody firefights, the report said.
Russia has nearly 200,000 soldiers ready to move in -- encircling the north, south and east of Ukraine.