Ukrainian and Russian forces fight on streets of capital Kyiv

Firefighters extinguish a fire in a high-rise apartment block which was hit by shelling in Kyiv on Feb 26, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Kyiv (AFP/REUTERS) - Authorities in Kyiv have asked residents to stay indoors due to fighting in the streets of the Ukrainian capital.

The Kyiv City State Administration said residents should hide in a shelter in case of an air raid alarm, according to a statement quoted by the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

"There are hostilities in the streets of our city. We ask you to stay calm and be as cautious as possible! If you are in a shelter - do not leave it now," the Kyiv City State Administration said in its recommendations quoted by Interfax.

It added: "If you are at home - do not approach the windows, do not go out on balconies. Hide in an enclosed room, for example, in the bathroom, and cover yourself with something that will prevent injury from debris."

Earlier on Saturday, two missiles hit areas southwest of Kyiv's city centre, a Reuters correspondent reported.

One of the missiles landed in the area close to the Zhulyany airport, he said. Another witness said the missiles hit the area near the Sevastopol Square.

One of the missiles struck a residential building but it killed no one, an adviser to the interior minister said.

Mr Anton Herashchenko also said Russia was lying about not shelling civilian infrastructure. According to the adviser, at least 40 such sites had been hit and Russian troops were shelling civilian sites.

Saturday marked the third day since Russian leader Vladimir Putin unleashed a full-scale invasion that has killed dozens of people, forced more than 50,000 to flee Ukraine in just 48 hours and sparked fears of a wider conflict in Europe.

Body on the pavement

In Kyiv's city centre, AFP journalists heard loud explosions early on Saturday.

"Heavy fighting continues," the State Special Communications Service of Ukraine posted on its Telegram account at around 0330 GMT (11.30am Singapore time).

A damaged Ukrainian army vehicle on the west side of Kyiv on Feb 26, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine's military said Russia had "attacked one of the military units on Victory Avenue in Kyiv" but that the assault had been "repulsed".

It also reported another incident northwest of the capital.

AFP saw a dead man in civilian clothes lying sprawled on the pavement as nearby medics rushed to help another man whose car was crushed by an armoured vehicle.

Kyiv said 137 people, including soldiers and civilians, have been killed.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry said "two enemy targets were shot down" - identifying them as a Russian SU-25 helicopter and a military bomber - near the separatist zone in the east.

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A Russian transport plane had also been "knocked down" near Vasylkiv, a town roughly 30km south-west of Kyiv, the ministry added on its official Facebook page.

Earlier, small arms fire and explosions were heard in the capital's northern district Obolonsky as what appeared to be an advance party of Russia's invasion force left a trail of destruction.

Ukrainian forces reported fighting with Russian armoured units in two locations between 40km and 80km north of Kyiv.

The Ukrainian defence ministry said 2,800 Russian soldiers had been killed, without providing evidence.

Moscow has yet to report on casualties.

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