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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12:03 a.m. ET, February 26, 2022

Our live coverage has moved. Head here for the latest updates on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

11:57 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

Biden instructs State Department to release up to $350 million in security assistance to Ukraine

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

United States President Joe Biden has instructed Secretary of State Antony Blinken to release up to $350 million in immediate support to Ukraine's security and defense, according to a new memo released by the White House late Friday.

This is the third drawdown of money; previous orders have been for $60 million and $250 million, putting the total over the last year at over a billion dollars, according to an administration official.

The State Department is expected to issue its own statement with more details shortly.

This release comes after a 40-minute call between Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier Friday, during which they discussed "concrete defense assistance."

11:38 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

Ukrainian military says a Russian tank destroyed in western Kyiv

From Tim Lister in Kyiv

The Ukrainian military has given its first account of explosions that rocked western Kyiv in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The Military Law Enforcement Service of Ukraine said that country's the military "destroyed a column of equipment of the occupiers" in the Beresteiska district in Kyiv.

"According to preliminary information, it is about 2 cars, 2 trucks with ammunition, and also with the help of NLAW anti-tank missiles an enemy tank was destroyed," said the service.

CNN has not been able to independently verify this account.

The United Kingdom supplied NLAW anti-tank missiles to Ukraine in the weeks before Russia invaded.

11:14 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

Satellite images show Kyiv's international airport undamaged, with runways blocked by vehicles

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

Satellite images showing blocked runways at Kyiv's Boryspil Airport on February 25.
Satellite images showing blocked runways at Kyiv's Boryspil Airport on February 25. (Planet Labs PBC)

New satellite images show Boryspil Airport, Kyiv's international airport, appearing unscathed — but its runways have been blocked by vehicles.

The images, released by Planet Labs PBC, verify rumors of actions taken across Ukraine before the Russian invasion began. At the airport, runways and taxiways are blocked, allegedly in an effort to prevent Russian aircraft from landing and utilizing the airport. 

Russia's broad offensive, beginning early Thursday, targeted military infrastructure across Ukraine as well as several airports and other key installations using missile attacks and long-range artillery. Kyiv's international airport was one of the chief targets.

11:02 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

See what parts of Ukraine Russian forces have occupied so far

From CNN's Renée Rigdon

Russian forces have taken control of portions of northern Ukraine outside the capital of Kyiv, including the Chernobyl exclusion zone, according to analysis from the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, DC.

They've also moved into the city of Kherson, north of the Crimean peninsula.

10:58 p.m. ET, February 25, 2022

Gunfire heard in Kyiv

From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv

Several bursts of gunfire were heard in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, close to the city center around 5:45 a.m. local time Saturday (10:45 p.m. ET Friday).

It appeared to come from the southeast. 

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.