Ukraine Forces Blow Up Bridge Near Kyiv to Halt Russian Tank Advance

Ukraine said it had blown up a bridge to curb a Russian advance into the capital as gunfire and missile strikes were heard throughout Kyiv overnight.

Russia is intensifying its attack on the Ukrainian capital, after its troops advanced on cities in the east, north, and south on Thursday.

Ukraine's Defence Ministry said its forces managed to stop a convoy of Russian tanks after airborne assault troops blew up a bridge over the Teteriv River at Ivankiv, around 30 miles north of Kyiv.

There were reports that Ukrainian forces had also blown up two other bridges but this has not been confirmed.

It comes as U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told U.S. lawmakers Russian mechanized forces that entered Ukraine from Belarus were about 20 miles from Kyiv, the Associated Press reported.

Illia Ponomarenko, a defense reporter for the Kyiv Independent, tweeted a map of what he said was where Russian armored groups "are trying to gain a foothold" on their way to Kyiv.

"Some of key bridges across local rivers have been destroyed, including in Irpin, to slow the enemy movement down," he wrote, "to the north east, Ukrainian forces have stopped the enemy."

Meanwhile, Ukraine Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashenko warned that Friday will be "the hardest day" BuzzFeed News reported, because "the enemy's plan is to break through with tanks from Ivankiv and Chernihiv to Kyiv."

The Ukrainian military is reporting significant fighting northwest of Kyiv as Russian forces apparently try to advance on Kyiv from the north, the AP reported.

Social media videos are showing what appear to be Russian tanks driving through Obolon, north of Kyiv's city centre, where Ukraine's Defence Ministry confirmed that Russian forces had infiltrated, the BBC reported.

CNN reported that overnight there were two large blasts in Kyiv and a third explosion in the distance. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Deputy Interior Minister Evgeny Yenin told the network that a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet was shot down over Kyiv overnight.

Amid conflicting reports, photos tweeted by the emergency forces showed a fire at a two-story private house after fragments of a plane fell on it although it was not confirmed if those are remnants of the jet.

Footage shared on the Telegram channel of DTP Kyiv, which provides video and information to keep residents informed about the latest military threats, shared a clip of what it said were two ballistic missiles "of the invaders" being shot down.

Earlier on Friday, open-source intelligence monitor OSINTdefender tweeted that there were unconfirmed reports that Russian bombers had crossed the northern Belarusian border near Gomel and were heading to Kyiv.

Meanwhile, Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, a former world heavyweight boxing champion, said at least three people were injured when a rocket hit an apartment building in the capital, the AP reported.

Russian tanks move over bridge
Photo from February 16 showing a train of Russian tanks crossing a bridge into Crimea. Reports haver emerged that have Ukrainian forces have blown up a bridge to impede Russian tanks advancing on Kyiv. AP