February 25, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Amy Woodyatt, Rob Picheta, Ed Upright, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 3:47 a.m. ET, February 26, 2022
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10:55 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

Ukrainian TV broadcasts instructions for how to make Molotov cocktails

As Ukrainian leaders urge residents to stand their ground and resist Russia's invasion, one television channel broadcast instructions on how to make Molotov cocktails on Friday.

The TV segment showed a person creating the makeshift explosive, pouring colored liquid into a glass bottle, with a diagram on the side showing how to stopper the bottle with a cloth wick.

Earlier Friday, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry tweeted that citizens should "make Molotov cocktails and take down the occupier," as Russian forces drew closer to the capital Kyiv.

10:54 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

Mayor of town south of Kyiv speaks of heavy fighting in streets

From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv

The mayor of the town of Vasilkiv, about 35 kilometers (21.75 miles) south of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, said fierce fighting is now taking place in the middle of the town.

"It is completely occupied with fighting," said Mayor Natalia Balasynovich, speaking on the Ukrainian parliament channel early Saturday.

She added that there were losses on the Ukrainian side — "many wounded, unfortunately, they are in the 200s."

CNN has been unable to independently verify reports.

10:36 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

After explosions throughout the night, Kyiv sees a quiet lull

After a number of blasts Friday night and early Saturday in and around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the city has had a lull for the last 45 minutes. As of 5 a.m. local time, the city has been quiet with no explosions heard or seen by CNN reporters on the ground.

Earlier Saturday between 2 to 4 a.m., CNN teams reported hearing loud explosions to the west and south of the city, with the sky lit up with a series of flashes. Shortly after, videos from eyewitnesses showed explosions to the city's northwest.

10:27 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

US embassy in Ukraine warns Americans in the country to locate their nearest shelter

The United States embassy for Ukraine warned US citizens in a tweet on Saturday that “conditions may deteriorate without warning,” and advised Americans in the country to locate their nearest shelter.

“The security situation throughout Ukraine remains highly volatile, and conditions may deteriorate without warning. US citizens should remain vigilant and know the location of your closest shelter or protected space," said the tweet.

No evacuation assistance: On Friday, the White House said the US State Department had been in touch with Americans still in Ukraine — but the administration is standing by President Biden’s comments that he would not send troops in to help evacuate them. 

10:02 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

Ukrainian MP: When the Russians come, "that's when you get a gun and you learn how to shoot it"

Kira Rudik, a member of Ukraine's parliament, had been going about daily life just a few days ago, holding meetings and discussing legislation even as the threat of a Russian invasion loomed.

"And then one day, you just know they're coming," said Rudik, speaking to CNN from the capital city Kyiv. "And then you have to do something. And that's when you get a gun and then you learn how to shoot it."

Rudik posted a photo of herself holding a gun on Twitter late Friday, captioned: "Our women will protect our soil the same way as our men." The post has since circulated widely online, with more than 91,000 likes on Twitter.

"It was super unusual and super crazy for myself to understand and realize that I'm holding a gun and I'm ready to bear arms, and I'm ready to go and shoot other human beings," Rudik said early Saturday. "And the reason for that change was because Russian soldiers are coming to Kyiv and Russian soldiers are trying to take what is actually not theirs."

She and her family are now hiding in a bomb shelter as heavy fighting intensifies, with explosions heard and seen in the city in the early hours of Saturday.

But, she added, "We are actually fighting them very, very hard ... (Putin) underestimated the readiness of our army, and he underestimated that on every step of the way of his soldiers, they were given really hard resistance."

"People are arming themselves. People are fighting them for every inch of our soil," she said. "We are not leaving because this is our city. This is our country."

10:02 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

Satellite imagery shows queues of traffic as people flee Ukraine

From CNN’s Katie Polglase

A satellite image of cars stuck in traffic waiting to leave Ukraine into Romania on February 25.
A satellite image of cars stuck in traffic waiting to leave Ukraine into Romania on February 25. (Maxar Technologies)

New satellite imagery taken Friday afternoon shows queues of traffic as people attempt to leave Ukraine and cross into Romania. 

Maxar Technologies says that a 6.5 kilometer (4.3 mile) long tailback of cars and trucks is visible in the images, which were taken near the Siret border crossing on the south-west side of Ukraine.

CNN reported earlier that Poland is seeing a large uptick in Ukrainian people crossing into the country as people flee the Russian invasion, according to Stanisław Żaryn, spokesman for the minister of special services coordinator’s office.

9:00 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

UN Security Council breaks out in rare applause after observing moment of silence for those killed in Ukraine

From CNN’s Mirna Alsharif and Bonney Kapp

The United Nations Security Council chamber erupted in rare applause late Friday after Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, called for a moment of silence to honor those who had died in Ukraine.

"I will ask all of you to dedicate a moment of complete silence to pray, or to mediate if you do not believe in God, for peace," said Kyslytsya at the meeting. "To pray for souls of those who has been already killed, for souls of those who may be killed."

He also invited Russia's ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, to “pray for salvation.” 

The moment came after Russia used its veto power to block a Security Council resolution to condemn Russia's invasion into Ukraine.

After Kyslytsya spoke, Nebenzia cut in to say the council should also honor those who died in the Donbas region, where Russia launched its military operation on Thursday.

After a brief moment of silence, Kyslytsya thanked the council, and diplomats from around the room broke out into a rare round of applause. Nebenzia was not among those who clapped. 

9:49 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

Explosions are happening in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv

Smoke and flames rise near Kyiv, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine on February 26.
Smoke and flames rise near Kyiv, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine on February 26. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

Explosions have been seen and heard in parts of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, after days of heavy fighting and blasts in the outer suburbs as Russian forces approached the city.

Earlier Saturday, videos from eyewitnesses show explosions taking place in an area north-west of Kyiv. There is a military base in the area.

A frame taken from a video shared on Twitter shows explosions purportedly taken near the Kyiv Zoo.
A frame taken from a video shared on Twitter shows explosions purportedly taken near the Kyiv Zoo. (From Twitter)

CNN teams in the capital also reported hearing loud explosions to the west and south of the city Saturday. Shortly afterward, Ukraine's State Service of Special Communications said clashes are underway in an eastern suburb as well.

A fire is seen on Peremohy Avenue, in Kyiv, near the Beresteiska metro station.
A fire is seen on Peremohy Avenue, in Kyiv, near the Beresteiska metro station. (From Telegram)

8:45 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

"We are all here" Zelensky pledges to defend Ukraine in Facebook video from streets of Kyiv

“We are here. We are in Kyiv. We are defending Ukraine.”

That was the title of a video posted on Facebook Friday night by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as he vowed to defend his country while standing on a Kyiv street with other leaders of his administration.

"Good evening everyone! Leader of the faction is here. Head of the president’s administration is here. Prime Minister (Denys) Shmyhal is here. (Adviser to the head of the President's Office Mykhailo) Podoliak is here. The President is here," said Zelensky, pointing to the various men around him as he spoke, ending with himself.

“We are all here. Our military are here. Citizens and society are here. We are all here defending our independence, our state and it will remain so. Glory to our defenders! Glory to our women defenders! Glory to Ukraine!"

The rest of the group chimed in: "Glory to heroes!"

Zelensky's post, which has since gone viral online has been widely shared across different social media platforms.

Also on Friday night, Zelensky released a formal national address, confirming that Russian forces were close to the capital, advancing from the north and the east. He added that he was still communicating with world leaders including US President Joe Biden.

"Our main goal is to finish this slaughter," Zelensky said in the address. "Ukrainians resist the Russian aggression heroically."

Watch Zelensky's video: