Loud explosions in the centre of the capital Kyiv have become very common as Russia continues to pound into Ukraine.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said Wednesday that “several Russian rockets” had been downed over the Ukrainian capital.
On Monday, Oct.17, Russian attacks with Iranian-made drones aimed at energy infrastructure killed at least five people in Kyiv.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Oct.19, declared martial law in four regions of Ukraine recently annexed by Moscow.
Putin’s decree to introduce military rule in the Moscow-controlled regions also gives additional power to authorities in Russian border areas.
“We are working on solving very complex large-scale tasks to ensure security and protect the future of Russia,” Putin said.
The decree gives greater powers to limit movement to, from and within the areas and allows for the residents of those territories to be moved to “safe zones”.
State-run Russian television aired footage on Wednesday of long lines of people and their luggage on the banks of the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine’s Kherson region after Moscow announced it was evacuating tens of thousands of local residents.
“People are getting on the ferry and going to the temporary accommodation centers,” one apparent volunteer told pro-Kremlin media outlet Mash.
“After that, the people are directed to where they want to go. They either stay on [the other] shore or go to the Russian Federation.”
The apparent rush to remove as many as 60,000 civilians from the city of Kherson and nearby areas followed an announcement by Moscow that Ukrainian forces were intensifying their attacks on Russian-held areas west of the Dnipro river and a warning from Russian military commander Sergei Surovikin that “difficult decisions” might be necessary.