On the second day of the Russian intervention in Ukraine, gunfire was heard in the government quarter of the capital Kyiv, the Ukrainian army reported.
Russian ‘sabotage teams’ were seen some 7.5 kilometers from the center of Kyiv, the army added, but were ‘eliminated’ in Obolon, a northern residential district of the capital.
Meanwhile, only in Kyiv, some 18,000 rifles were distributed to residents to defend themselves, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Facebook.
Mariupol, another front city, came under the attack of Russian forces from various directions, Mayor Vadym Boychenko said in a news conference, adding that fierce clashes are ongoing.
Separately, Ukraine’s official news agency Ukrinform said the city of Ivankiv, some 82 km (51 mi) northwest of the capital, is facing grave danger from Russian forces.
Armed clashes have also intensified in the cities of Gostomel, Vorzel, and Bucha, it added.
Following a months-long buildup of troops and equipment around neighboring Ukraine’s borders, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military intervention in Ukraine.
The attack has been met by international condemnation and announcements of new sanctions by Western countries.