Two Ukrainian cities were rocked by Russian blasts in the early hours of Sunday as Vladimir Putin stepped up his invasion – after it was claimed he has been infuriated by his army’s lack of progress.
Local newspaper The Kyiv Independent wrote that an oil depot had been blown up at Vasylkiv Air Base. The city sits around 40 kilometers south west of Kyiv, close to a key airport. A gas pipeline was also blown up in Kharkiv, a city in eastern Ukraine which sits close to the Russian border.
Video footage showed a mushroom cloud fill the city’s sky as the fuel line was destroyed, with a group of people who filmed the clip heard exclaiming with shock as the ball of flames erupted into the sky. It is unclear if anyone was injured or killed by either blast.
Ukrainian TV station Nexta shared footage of flames and black clouds billowing into the sky at the site of the Vasylkiv attack as the fuel burned. It has also since shared a clip of the moment the oil depot was struck, with a bright white glow filling the darkened night sky as the fuel store ignited.
Russia was widely-expected to step-up its attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure in a bid to try and cower locals into submission.
Forces have been met with far greater resistance than the Kremlin is said to have expected, sparking reports that Putin has been angered that locals have not capitulated to the might of his armed forces as quickly as expected.
Elon Musk risked aggravating the Russian autocrat further Saturday, after answered a plea from Ukraine’s vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov to switch on his Starlink satellites over the country. That means locals will still be able to use the internet if Russia destroys the country’s telecommunications network.
Ukrainians are particularly keen to push back against Russian propaganda and lies about the atrocities being inflicted by Putin and his troops.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has so-far managed to avoid Russian kill squads deployed to capture and assassinate him, and shared updates earlier on Saturday vowing to fight on, having previously conceded he was unlikely to survive the conflict when it inevitably intensifies.
The Vasylkiv blasts – said to have been triggered by Russian ballistic missiles – filled the skies over Kyiv with an eerie orange glow in the early hours of Sunday morning. It is unclear if anyone was injured or killed in the explosions.
The explosions were first reported by CNN and stuck close to the Ukrainian capital’s secondary airport, Boryspil International. They took place around 15 minutes apart, and set of car alarms miles from the explosion epicenter.
Vasylkiv mayor Natalia Balasynovych told the Independent that her city and its airfield sustained heavy shelling from ballistic missiles. She said: ‘The enemy wants to destroy everything around, but he will not succeed. Hold on!’
She later recorded a Facebook message for locals, saying: ‘You can see what is going on, you can see the fire – unfortunately, this is the petroleum storage depot in Kriachky village.
Mayor of Vasylkiv Natalia Balasynovych shared a video message in the early hours of Sunday saying that Russian forces wanted to ‘destroy everything’ in their attempts
to conquer Ukraine