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Kyiv mayor: 'No Russian troops in the capital'

This has been CNBC's live blog tracking Friday's developments in Russia's attack on Ukraine. Follow the latest updates here.

Street fighting took place in Ukraine's capital of Kyiv, the Associated Press reported, as Russian forces closed in on the city.

Ukraine blew up bridges leading into Kyiv in an effort to prevent Russian troops from infiltrating the capital.

The United States and its European allies, meanwhile, have decided to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin directly.

Here are links to additional CNBC coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

Ukraine minister of health: 198 Ukrainians have died since start of invasion

Ukrainian servicemen pick up the body of an Ukrainian man who was shot when a Russian armoured vehicle drove past him, on a sidewalk in the north of Kyiv on February 25, 2022.
Daniel Leal | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine's Minister of Health Oleh Liashko gave an update via Facebook on the current death toll in the country.

He said, according to an NBC News translation, that since the start of the Russian invasion, 198 Ukrainians have died, including three children, with 1,115 wounded, including 33 children.

—Matt Clinch

Photos show damage to high-rise apartment block in Kyiv

Residential building is seen damaged after an attack on a residential building during Russiaâs military intervention in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 26, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
A view shows an apartment building damaged by recent shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine February 26, 2022.
Gleb Garanich | Reuters
A view of a high-rise apartment block which was hit by recent shelling in Kyiv on February 26, 2022.
Genya Savilov | Afp | Getty Images
Firefighters extinguish fire in an apartment building damaged by recent shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine February 26, 2022.
Gleb Garanich | Reuters

—Matt Clinch

'No Russian troops in the capital,' says Kyiv mayor

Ukrainian servicemen walk by a damaged vehicle, at the site of a fighting with Russian troops, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 26, 2022.
Valentyn Ogirenko | Reuters

Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv's mayor, posted a video on Telegram giving a figure on the overnight casualties in the city.

"The night was difficult, but there are no Russian troops in the capital," he said, according to a NBC translation.

"The enemy is trying to break into the city, in particular, from Hostomel, Zhytomyr. The aggressor was neutralized there. Now, unfortunately, SRGs are operating in Kyiv. As of the 6 a.m. in the morning there are 35 injured people, including 2 children."

—Matt Clinch

Kyiv apartment building damaged

A view shows an apartment building damaged by recent shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine February 26, 2022.
Gleb Garanich | Reuters

A Kyiv apartment building has been damaged by what the Ukrainian government says were Russian missiles.

Ukraine's Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: "Kyiv, our beautiful, peaceful city, has spent another night under attack by Russian ground forces and missiles. One of them hit an apartment building in Kyiv," according to an NBC translation.

NBC News has not been able to verify the allegation by Kuleba and information about any casualties is still being gathered.

—Matt Clinch

Ukraine President Zelenskyy denies he has called for surrender

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a video on his Twitter feed early Saturday denying claims that he has called his army to stand down.

"There is a lot of fake information online that I call our army to put down arms and there is evacuation going on," he said, according to an NBC translation.

"I'm here. We won't put down [our] weapon, we'll protect our country because our weapon is our truth and it is our land, our country, our children and we will defend all of it. That's it. That's what I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine."

—Matt Clinch

Street fighting reported in Kyiv

Street fighting broke out in Ukraine's capital as city officials urged residents to take shelter, the Associated Press reported.

It was unclear whether that fighting was sporadic or signified a larger Russian breach of the city.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned in the early morning hours Saturday local time that a Russian assault on Kyiv was imminent. Sounds of combat could be heard from within the city on Friday night, according to NBC News.

U.S. and U.K. officials have said Russian troops were facing stubborn opposition on multiple approaches to Kyiv.

Zelenskyy warned that multiple cities were under attack, though the U.K. Defence Ministry said on Friday that all "key cities" remain in Ukraine's control.

Zelenskyy refused a U.S. offer to evacuate, AP said.

Ukraine Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova told reporters on Friday that Zelenskyy is still in Ukraine and intends to stay there. She adds that Zelenskyy will "fight until our victory."

U.S. officials believe Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to overthrow Ukraine's government and replace it with a regime of his choosing, AP reported.

Biden administration to ask for $6.4 billion more for Ukraine

The White House will ask Congress for $6.4 billion in supplemental funds for assistance to Ukraine, four sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

Citing two of those sources, NBC reported that $3.5 billion would go to the U.S. Department of Defense, while $2.9 billion would go to the State Department and USAID. Some will go to the Commerce Department and Treasury as well.

An omnibus government funding bill is being finalized now, but one of the sources said it's not clear whether the funds for Ukraine would be tacked onto that measure.

—Ted Kemp

Russia is going to attack Kyiv tonight, Ukraine President Zelenskyy says

Russian forces are going to attack Ukraine's capital city tonight, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

"This night, they are going to storm. All of us should understand what is awaiting us this night," he said in a video address.

"We have to hold out. Ukraine's destiny is being decided right now," Zelenskyy said, according to a Reuters translation.

The president said Ukrainians have been fighting for their country on every front, but "this night will be harder than the day."

Special attention is on Kyiv, he said. "One can't give up one's capital."

— Abigail Ng

Kazakhstan denies Russia's request for troops to join the offensive in Ukraine

Smoke and flames rise over during the shelling near Kyiv, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine February 26, 2022.
Gleb Garanich | Reuters

Kazakhstan, Russia's neighbor and one of its closest allies, has denied a request for its troops to join Russian forces in Ukraine, officials said, according to NBC News.

"We welcome Kazakhstan's announcement that they will not recognize the LPR and DPR," the National Security Council said in a statement. "We also welcome Kazakhstan's refusal to send its forces to join Putin's war in Ukraine."

Riya Bhattacharjee

Russia vetoes UN Security Council resolution to condemn Ukraine attack; China, India, UAE abstain from vote

Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, speaks during United Nations Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters on February 25, 2022 in New York City.
David Dee Delgado | Getty Images

Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the country's military aggression against Ukraine.

No other members of the 15-nation council voted against the resolution. China surprised onlookers by abstaining, rather than joining Russia in opposition to the resolution. India and the United Arab Emirates also abstained.

Russia presided over the vote because it happened to hold the seat of the presidency, which rotates among the council members, for the month of February.

In a tweet after the vote, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the members who voted to stop Russia's "treacherous attack." Russia's veto "is a bloodstain on its plaque in the Security Council" and the world, he said.

Kevin Breuninger

U.S. to sanction Putin, top aide Lavrov, White House says

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a joint news conference with OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Poland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau in Moscow, Russia February 15, 2022.
Shamil Zhumatov | Reuters

The Biden administration is imposing an array of sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the White House confirmed.

The U.S. and other nations, as well as the European Union, have already announced waves of sanctions on Russia. President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled penalties aimed toward Russian elites and financial institutions, including the state-owned VTB Bank.

But the latest U.S. sanctions targeting Putin himself mark an escalation in the international response to the Kremlin since its military aggression began days earlier.

Read more about the new sanctions from CNBC's Christina Wilkie.

Kevin Breuninger

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy intends to stay in Kyiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes a statement in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remains in his country's capital despite two days of brutal Russian airstrikes.

Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova confirmed to reporters Friday afternoon that Zelenskyy intends to remain in Kyiv.

"The intention of our president and of all Ukrainians is to fight until our victory," Markarova.

The revelation follows a somber video call with European Union leaders where Zelenskyy said "this might be the last time you see me alive."

— Amanda Macias

Russian assault on Kyiv brings explosions, air raid sirens, hundreds in casualties

The second day of Russia's attack on Kyiv brought further destruction of life and property to the capital of Ukraine.

The sound of air raid sirens and explosions echoed throughout central Kyiv as Ukrainian troops attempted to hold defensive positions at bridges around the city, according to the Associated Press. The news agency said that Kyiv's mayor noted gunfire and blasts in several parts of the city.

The AP also reported that five explosions struck near a major power plant on Kyiv's eastern outskirts and the Russians has seized a strategic airport outside the capital. Russia's control of the airport allows Moscow to quickly build up troops.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who remained in Ukraine on Friday, said that 137 Ukrainians had died on Thursday and that another 316 had been injured. The Ukrainian government has said that it has killed over 1,000 Russian troops while holding off the Russian offensive.

He tweeted that he and U.S. President Joe Biden spoke on the phone to talk about "strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance and an antiwar coalition."

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. defense official told NBC News that the Russian advance appears to have lost some momentum on Friday given stiff Ukrainian resistance. "We do assess that there is greater resistance by the Ukrainians than the Russians expected," the official told NBC News. "They are fighting for their country."

Another U.S. defense official said that Russia's amphibious attack is underway, and that thousands of Russian forces were moving ashore from the Sea of Azov, according to the AP. The official added that about 33% of the combat power that Russia gathered around Ukraine is now inside the country.

Thomas Franck

Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin speaks out on Russian invasion

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin during the Washington Capitals practice at the Medstar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, VA on January 6, 2020. Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
John McDonnell | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Washington Capitals Captain Alexander Ovechkin, the National Hockey League phenom and native Russian, said Friday he was in favor of "no more war" after days of silence on the invasion of Ukraine, according to sports publication the Athletic.

"It's a hard situation. I have family back in Russia and it is scary moments," Ovechkin told reporters. "But we can't do anything. We just hope it going to be end soon and everything is going to be all right."

He added: "Please, no more war. It doesn't matter who is in the war — Russia, Ukraine, different countries — I think we live in a world, like, we have to live in peace and a great world."

Ovechkin has been a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Instagram profile photo shows the popular athlete with Putin. But in answering questions from reporters on Friday, he said, "He is my president. But how I said, I am not in politics. I am an athlete and you know, how I said, I hope everything is going to be done soon."

The 36 year-old forward is a 12-time all star and one of the top all-time goal scorers in the NHL. Born in Moscow, he has been heavily involved in Russia's national hockey teams and has been a long time supporter of President Putin. Ovechkin is in the midst of a five year contract worth $47.5 million.

— Brad Howard

NATO Response Force activated for the first time in a defensive capacity

Canadian troops of NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Adazi, Latvia February 3, 2022.
Ints Kalnins | Reuters

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Friday agreed to activate its NATO Response Force for the first time ever in a defensive capacity to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.

The NATO Response Force consists of 40,000 highly trained and combat ready soldiers from NATO countries, but Stoltenberg said only part of the force was being called up.

In a separate statement, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Tod Wolters said the alliance has "operationally aligned its maritime, land, air, space, and cyber forces to defend our NATO sovereignty."

Wolters said the troops "represent a flexible, combat credible force that can be employed in multiple ways and we are utilizing fully their inherent agility."

"As NATO establishes this enhanced vigilance on the alliance's eastern flank, allied military forces will posture and exercise to increase our readiness and interoperability," he said. "Your soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines stand ready to protect every meter of Allied territory."

The announcement followed an emergency meeting Friday morning of the leaders of all NATO member states, as well as the leaders of Sweden, Finland and the European Union.

Russia launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Wednesday involving tens of thousands of Russian troops with the apparent goal of capturing Ukraine's capital, Kyiv.

President Joe Biden has pledged that he will not send American troops into Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO. But as fighting in Ukraine intensifies, NATO states bordering the besieged country are on high alert.

– Christina Wilkie

Russia threatens Finland to stay out of NATO

Finnish people and Ukrainians living in Finland protest against the Russian invasion in Ukraine and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, in the centre of Tampere, Finland on Thursday, February 24th, 2022.
Tiago Mazza Chiaravalloti | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday that any attempt by Finland to join NATO would have "military and political repercussions."

The message was a direct threat to the Nordic country, which has been independent for more than a century.

But Russia's unbridled military assault on Ukraine, a sovereign nation that posed no threat to its borders, has made several countries in Europe rethink their decisions not to join NATO.

The invasion was spurred partly by Russian President Vladimir Putin's fear that Ukraine would join NATO and become a fully functioning Western style democracy.

On Thursday, Finish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the Russian invasion would shift the long running debate in Finland around NATO membership.

"Finland is not currently facing an immediate military threat, but it is also now clear that the debate on NATO membership in Finland will change," Marin said, according to YLE News.

On Friday, Finland and Sweden joined a call of all the NATO members' heads of state.

-- Christina Wilkie

'People are literally afraid to sleep'

People take shelter in a metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Thousands of Ukrainians in Kyiv are sleeping in metro stations, which are serving as bomb shelters days after Russia launched its attack.

Ukrainian citizens around the country are fleeing to the west, hiding from the sounds of exploding bombs, desperately trying to communicate with loved ones and, in some cases, gearing up to fight as the nation comes to grips with an invasion that many thought would never happen.

"People are literally afraid to sleep, because then they might not get to the bunkers or pack their things quickly enough," when the bomb warnings go off, Kyiv native Liza Borysova told CNBC.

Read more from CNBC's Natasha Turak.

Kevin Breuninger

NGOs raise $4.1 million in crypto to aid Ukraine

Research shows that $4.1 million in crypto has been raised by nongovernmental organizations and volunteer groups in Ukraine since the invasion began, including a single $3 million donation early Friday.

That cash is apparently being funneled to the Ukrainian military, according to new data from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.

But the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has made it clear that it won't accept crypto donations directly.

A statement on the government's website said that "national legislation does not allow the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to use other payment systems ('Webmoney,' 'Bitcoin,' 'PayPal,' etc.)."

That means that while the military welcomes donations for logistics and medial support, those contributions ultimately have to go through fiat channels.

– MacKenzie Sigalos

UN says more than 50,000 refugees have fled Ukraine in the past 48 hours

Cars sit at a standstill as people try to leave the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Chris Mcgrath | Getty Images

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday that more than 50,000 Ukrainians have already fled the country since Russia's unprovoked invasion on Wednesday.

Grandi tweeted from his official UN account that the majority of the refugees have entered Poland and Moldova, with many more expected in the coming days and weeks.

Early estimates of the number of refugees who are expected to leave Ukraine range from around 2 million to as many as 5 million. Either figure would place an intense strain on Ukraine's neighbors and on the international community.

Departures from Ukraine are complicated by a general mobilization order currently in place that prohibits men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country.

Many of the main exit routes out of Ukraine are manned by soldiers intent on prohibiting the departure of fighting-aged men.

— Christina Wilkie

U.S. stocks rally as Dow is on track for best day of 2022

CNBC

The major U.S. stock averages rallied for a second day Friday as market participants assessed the latest developments from Ukraine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 600 points, or 1.9%, by around 11:20 a.m. ET. The blue-chip average is on pace for its best daily performance of the year. The S&P 500 rose 1.7% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.1%.

"There's chaos on the ground, but there's clarity on sanctions, and I think that's where the market is taking some comfort," said Jeff Kleintop, chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab.

Meanwhile, the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was little changed on the session, around 1.977%.

Energy prices declined. WTI crude fell 1.6% to 91.32, Brent crude dipped 2% to 97.10 and natural gas retreated 4.5%.

Hannah Miao

Russia is conducting an amphibious assault on Ukraine near Mauripol

Russian armoured personnel carriers sail after submerging from an amphibious assault ship during a parade as part of the Navy Day celebration in Sevastopol on July 28, 2019.
Yekaterina Shtukina | AFP | Getty Images

A senior Defense official said the U.S. has indications that Russian troops are currently conducting an amphibious assault to the west of the Ukrainian coastal city of Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov.

"They are putting potentially thousands of naval infantry ashore there," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss battlefield intelligence.

The report comes as Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, braces for a third night of attacks from Russian troops who seem intent on taking the city of 1.8 million.

The Defense official also gave an update on the number of Russian missile launches so far.

"We have seen more than 200 total launches as of this morning," the official said, adding that the artillery fire is a mix of ballistic and cruise missiles.

Despite the barrage of firepower from the Russian positions, the official said that initial assessments of Russian progress indicate they are encountering more resistance than they had initially prepared for.

"We believe that their momentum, particularly as it comes to Kyiv has slowed over the last 24 hours," the official said. "They have not achieved the progress that we believe they anticipated they would."

ThIs is not to say that Russia is overextended. On the contrary, the Pentagon believes only one third of the 190,000 Russian troops that were previously stationed along Ukraine's border are now in Ukraine.

"That does not mean that they will not commit more," the official said.

Amanda Macias

ECB will do whatever it takes to ensure financial stability amid Ukraine crisis, Lagarde says

The European Central Bank faces a tough balancing act, with inflation running at record highs while the war in Ukraine casts a shadow over the growth outlook.
Thomas Lohnes | Getty Images News | Getty Images

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said Friday the ECB will do whatever it takes to "ensure price stability and financial stability in the euro area," Reuters reported.

"The ECB stands ready to take whatever action is necessary within its responsibilities to ensure price stability and financial stability in the euro area," she told reporters, according to the news agency.  

She said the central bank would carry out an analysis on March 10 on what to do next to mitigate the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.  

— Chloe Taylor

Will the Russia-Ukraine crisis lead to a global cyber war?

The Russian flag displayed on a laptop screen with binary code code overlaying.
Nurphoto | Getty Images

Governments on either side of the Atlantic are on alert for cyberthreats from Russia, after an onslaught of cyberattacks targeting Ukrainian organizations.

Ukraine has been hit with numerous digital assaults in recent weeks. For example, cybersecurity researchers found new "wiper" malware in Ukraine that erases data from the systems it targets, while a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks knocked several Ukrainian government and bank websites offline.

Officials in both the U.S. and Britain are warning businesses to be alert to suspicious activity from Russia on their networks, while Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has said European nations should be wary of potential cyberattacks.

Separately, NBC News reported Thursday that President Joe Biden has been presented with options for the U.S. to carry out cyberattacks on Russia. A White House spokesperson pushed back on the report, however, saying it was "wildly off base."

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International suspends Ukrainian operations

Philip Morris International said Friday that it will temporarily suspend its Ukrainian operations, including production at its factory in Kharkiv.

Last year, Ukraine accounted for roughly 2% of the tobacco giant's total cigarette and heated tobacco unit shipment volume and less than 2% of its net sales. The Kharkiv facility is its only factory in the country, but it does have more than 1,300 workers in Ukraine.

"Our employees are advised to stay t home or in any safe place and follow instructions from local authorities," CEO Jacek Olczak said in a statement.

PMI said it has contingency plans in place to restart production there once safe conditions allow.

– Amelia Lucas

Photos show the aftermath of Russian attacks on Kyiv region

A woman clears debris at a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on February 25, 2022.
Daniel Leal | AFP | Getty Images
People look at the exterior of a damaged residential block hit by an early morning missile strike on February 25, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Chris Mcgrath | Getty Images
Firefighters work at a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on February 25, 2022.
Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images
A Ukrainian serviceman talks on a smartphone in front of a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on February 25, 2022.
Daniel Leal | AFP | Getty Images

Pope Francis visits Russian embassy in Rome to express concern over war

Pope Francis attends his weekly general audience at the Paul VI hall on February 23, 2022 in the Vatican.
Alberto Pizzoli | AFP | Getty Images

The Vatican confirmed to NBC News Friday that Pope Francis went to the Russian embassy in Rome to personally express his concern about the war in Ukraine, in an extraordinary, hands-on papal gesture.

Vatican officials said they knew of no such previous papal initiative, according to the Associated Press. The 85-year-old leader of the Catholic Church spoke with Russian officials for a little over a half-hour.

Typically, the Vatican foreign minister summons an ambassador or head of state to the Vatican instead of the pope leaving the city state.

— Amanda Macias

Putin ready to negotiate with Kyiv, Kremlin says

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with representatives of the business community at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia February 24, 2022.
Aleksey Nikolskyi | Sputnik | via Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to Kyiv for talks, the Kremlin has reportedly.

It comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video statement that he wanted to "sit at the negotiation table [with Putin] to stop people from dying."

According to Russian state-run news agency TASS, Kremlin spokesperson, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Friday: "In this context, in response to Zelenskyy's proposal, Vladimir Putin is ready to send a Russian delegation to [Belarusian capital] Minsk at the level of representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the presidential administration for negotiations with the Ukrainian delegation."

Peskov added that Putin had spoken to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who told the Russian leader he "would be ready to create all the necessary conditions for the arrival of delegations."

— Chloe Taylor

Ukraine’s foreign minister accuses Russia of war crimes

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba briefs media after a General Assembly meeting discussing the situation in Ukraine at the U.N.'s headquarters.
Lev Radin | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has accused Russian forces of committing war crimes by attacking a kindergarten and an orphanage in Ukraine.

CNBC has not been able to independently verify the claims.

https://twitter.com/DmytroKuleba/status/1497186665156255754

On Friday, the prosecutor general of Ukraine said that an orphanage in the village of Vorzel, outside Kyiv, had been hit by shrapnel, with no casualties reported.

— Chloe Taylor

Long line seen at blood drive in Lviv, Ukraine

People queue to donate blood for the army at the Blood Service Center in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on February 25, 2022.
Yuriy Dyachyshyn | AFP | Getty Images

Photographs show a long line as people queue to donate blood in the city of Lviv in western Ukraine.

The city's Blood Service Center was taking blood donations for the Ukrainian army Friday, as Russia's attack on the country continues.

People donate blood for the army at the Blood Service Center in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on February 25, 2022.
Yuriy Dyachyshyn | AFP | Getty Images

— Chloe Taylor

EU set to freeze Putin and Lavrov’s European assets

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L).
Sean Gallup

Two sources have told CNBC's Silvia Amaro that EU leaders are discussing imposing sanctions on European assets held by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Discussions are still underway. CNBC has not been able to verify whether Putin or Lavrov own any significant assets in the EU.

The story was first reported by the Financial Times.

UN recorded 127 civilian casualties in Ukraine yesterday

A child sits on a swing in front of a damaged residential building, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 25, 2022.
Umit Bektas | Reuters

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the U.N. Human Rights Office said that as of midnight on Thursday, the organization had received reports of at least 127 civilian casualties in Ukraine caused by shelling and air strikes.

Of those, 25 people died and 102 were injured.

"This is more than the total number of civilian casualties recorded by the U.N. Human Rights Office on both sides of the contact line for the whole of 2021," a spokesperson said. "The figures for 2021 were 25 killed and 85 injured."

They added that 114 casualties were reported yesterday in government-controlled territory, meaning it was outside of the conflict in eastern Ukraine that has been ongoing for eight years.

"Because of the security situation, civilian casualties in government-controlled territory are likely to be under-reported, and real figures, therefore, could be higher," the spokesperson added.

In eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists have been battling Ukrainian government forces for control since 2014, 13 civilian casualties were reported to the U.N. on Thursday, two of which were deaths.

— Chloe Taylor

UN says Russia has arrested more than 1,800 anti-war protesters

People attend an anti-war protest in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Feb. 24, 2022, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in Ukraine.
Anton Vaganov | Reuters

In a statement on Friday, the U.N.'s Human Rights Commissioner Ravina Shamdasani said the organization understood Russia arrested more than 1,800 anti-war protesters yesterday.

"Arresting individuals for exercising their rights to freedom of expression or of peaceful assembly constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of liberty," she said. "We call on the authorities to ensure the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained for exercising these rights."

— Chloe Taylor

Russia’s Lavrov says Moscow open to talks with Kyiv only once Ukraine surrenders

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on February 25, 2022.
Russian Foreign Ministry | Reuters

Russia is ready for talks with Kyiv as soon as Ukrainian forces surrender, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday, according to Russian state-controlled media.

"We are ready for talks any time, as soon as the Ukrainian armed forces respond to the call of our president, stop resisting and surrender their weapons," state media agency Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying. "No one is going to attack or oppress them, let them go back to their families."

He reiterated the Russian government's earlier statements that Moscow was seeking to demilitarize Ukraine.

— Chloe Taylor

Kremlin says it will impose retaliatory sanctions on the West

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Moscow will impose retaliatory sanctions on the West, Reuters reported.

Peskov told reporters that although the sanctions imposed on Russia would cause issues for the country, they were solvable because Russia had reduced its reliance on imports.

— Chloe Taylor

Kyiv officials ask residents to make petrol bombs as Russians close in on capital

A military instructor teaches civilians to use Molotov cocktails during a training session at an abandoned factory in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on February 6, 2022.
Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is closing in on the capital, Kyiv, according to Ukrainian officials.

The City of Kyiv administration's verified Telegram account posted an update on Friday in which it urged residents in the capital's northern Obolon district not to go outside due to "the approach of active hostilities."

"Be vigilant and stay indoors — at home or in shelters," officials said, according to a translation by NBC News. "Going outside is very dangerous now due to the approach of the enemy. The only exception may be the need to move to a shelter if the Air Alarm signal is activated."

It came after the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense took to Twitter to warn that Russia's sabotage and reconnaissance organization had infiltrated Kyiv's Obolon district.

"We ask citizens to inform about the movement of equipment," the ministry said, according to an NBC News translation.

It instructed residents to either stay at home or "make Molotov cocktails," a kind of petrol bomb, to "neutralize the occupier."

NBC reporters in Kyiv said that air raid sirens had sounded once again on Friday, after being switched on in the city after the invasion began Thursday.

— Chloe Taylor

Champions League soccer final moved out of Russia

European soccer body UEFA said Friday it will no longer allow Russia to host the Champions League final in May.

The final, which was scheduled to be played in St. Petersburg, will instead be held in Paris, France.

"Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement," UEFA said in a statement on Friday.

The organization also announced that Russian and Ukrainian teams competing in UEFA competitions would be required to play at "neutral venues" until further notice.

— Chloe Taylor

Ukrainian forces blow up bridge to prevent Russian advance on Kyiv

Ukraine's armed forces blew up bridges near the town of Irpin, which is 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from Kyiv.

The move was made to prevent Russian forces from being able to advance further on the capital.

A destroyed bridge in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ministry of Interior Affairs
A destroyed bridge in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ministry of Interior Affairs

A bridge in the town of Hostomel was also blown up, according to officials.

Photographs of the destroyed bridges were sent to journalists by Anton Herashchenko, advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.

— Chloe Taylor

U.S. says China's trade with Russia won't be enough to offset sanctions

China said it would maintain normal trade relations with Russia, while the U.S., U.K. and European Union announced new sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.

The White House subsequently said the Chinese and Russian economies account for a far smaller portion of the world economy than the Group of Seven nations, which means Beiijing's actions "cannot cover" the impact of the sanctions.

China is the largest trade partner for both Russia and Ukraine. However, it's still too early to tell the extent of China's economic role in the tensions.

— Evelyn Cheng

137 Ukrainians died on first day of Russian attack, Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian servicemen pick up the body of an Ukrainian man who was shot when a Russian armoured vehicle drove past him, on a sidewalk in the north of Kyiv on February 25, 2022.
Daniel Leal | AFP | Getty Images

In a speech late on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said preliminary data showed 137 Ukrainians had died in the first day of Russia's invasion.

A further 316 people were injured, Zelenskyy added.

"According to our information, the enemy has listed me as target number one, and my family – as target number two," he said, according to an NBC News translation. "They want to destroy the country politically, terminating the head of state."

— Chloe Taylor

Ukraine’s president says sanctions must be strengthened

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on his country's international partners to double down on sanctions against Moscow as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues.

— Chloe Taylor

Russia has failed to secure its main objectives: UK Defense Minister

A view shows destroyed Russian Army multiple rocket launchers with the letter "Z" painted on their sides in Kharkiv, Ukraine February 25, 2022.
Maksim Levin | Reuters

Russia has failed to secure any of its main objectives and has lost almost 500 personnel, according to the U.K.'s Defense Minister.

Speaking to Sky News on Friday, Ben Wallace also said Russia was "behind its hoped-for timetable" in its invasion, and its special forces had failed on day one to capture a significant airport from Ukraine.

"Our assessment, as of this morning, is that Russia has not taken any of its major objectives," he said. "They've lost over 450 personnel."

"Contrary to great Russian claims and indeed President [Vladimir] Putin's vision that somehow the Ukrainians would be liberated and would be flocking to his cause, he's got that completely wrong," Wallace added.

— Chloe Taylor

PM Modi held phone call with Putin over safety of Indian citizens in Ukraine

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a phone call Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin briefed Modi about the recent developments regarding Ukraine. The prime minister reiterated India's longstanding position that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can be resolved only through honest and sincere dialogue.

Modi also appealed for an immediate end to the violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue.

He also told Putin about India's concerns regarding the safety of Indian citizens in Ukraine, especially students, and conveyed that India attaches the highest priority to their safe exit and return to India.

The leaders agreed that their officials and diplomatic teams would continue to maintain regular contacts on issues of topical interest.

Sumathi Bala

Oil prices gain 2% in Asia trade, gold advances

Oil contracts jumped more than 2% in Asia trade on Friday as investors continued to watch the Russia-Ukraine conflict unfold.

U.S. crude futures rose 2.26% to trade at $94.91 per barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude climbed 2.59% to $101.65 per barrel.

Spot gold, which is seen as a safe haven during times of uncertainty, gained 0.62% to $1,914.96.

U.S. stock futures fell after a massive comeback on Wall Street during Thursday's volatile session. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 191 points. S&P 500 futures fell 0.58% and Nasdaq 100 futures traded 0.72% lower.

Asia-Pacific markets mostly rose on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained nearly 2% to close at 26,476.50.

— Abigail Ng

Ukrainian president says Russian forces have been 'stopped in most directions'

Ukrainian servicemen are seen next to a destroyed armoured vehicle, which they said belongs to the Russian army, outside Kharkiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Maksim Levin TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Maksim Levin | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the military has stopped Russian troops "in most directions" despite renewed missile strikes.

"The enemy has been stopped in most directions. The fights continue," Zelenskyy said in a speech that was translated by NBC News. "Russia expects us to get tired, but we're not tired."

The situation on the ground in Ukraine is extremely fluid, and accounts of the military situation are difficult or impossible to confirm.

— Ted Kemp

Sirens activate; Ukrainian forces blow up a bridge to stymie Russian army

NBC News reported that sirens were activated in Lviv, Ukraine and capital city Kyiv around 7 a.m. local time.

Kyiv's city government subsequently said the sirens signal an air threat and that residents should immediately head toward the nearest shelter. It also reminded people that all subway stations are open and available to be used as shelters.

An aide to the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior Affairs said its armed forces had blown up a bridge about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Kyiv in an effort to prevent the Russian army from coming any closer.

— Christine Wang

'New era of European security': Conflict threatens to spiral into broader war, says think tank

There's a "great risk" that the conflict in Ukraine could escalate into a broader war, said Barry Pavel of the Atlantic Council on Friday.

It is "very clear" from Putin's rhetoric he wants to re-establish as much of the Cold War Soviet empire as he possibly can, said Pavel, senior vice president and director of the institute.

"We're kind of now in a new era of European security as of this week," he said. "Unfortunately, it's sort of a move back towards the Cold War, but it'll be different. There will be conventional forces."

He said that a "winning potential proposition" would be to educate Russians on Putin and his invasion of Ukraine.

"A sustained information campaign that tells the Russian people every week about Vladimir Putin's corruption … could be very effective in deterring Putin from taking these types of aggressive acts," Pavel added.

— Chelsea Ong

Conflict could cause 'major disruption in the global supply chain,' says maritime strategist

Russia's invasion of Ukraine could cause major disruption to global container supply chains, said Lars Jensen, CEO at Vespucci Maritime, a shipping consultancy.

"We already know that all of the major container lines have completely seized operations into Ukraine," he told CNBC's "Streets Signs Asia" on Friday.

"That is going to lead to an impact on ports in the Western Mediterranean and the Black Sea, because you already have a large amount of cargo on the ships that were supposed to go to Ukraine that will now be discharged into other ports in the region."

He pointed out that the ports were already congested and the development will "create a ripple effect in the coming days for sure."

There's also the "unknown part" as to how much shipping will be affected by the new sanctions slapped on Russia, Jensen noted. "That is still somewhat unclear," he said, adding that most of the container shipping lines are maintaining their services to Russia for now.

"There's a large degree of uncertainty over the next few days in terms of whether services to Russia will stop or not," Jensen said. If services to Russia stop, then "you're looking at major disruption in the global supply chain," he added.

— Sumathi Bala

China is trying to maintain an 'uneasy balance' with Russia, says former Singapore diplomat

VIDEO3:2603:26
Ex-Singapore diplomat discusses China's position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine

China is "probably as concerned as everybody else" by the Russian invasion on Ukraine, but will not condemn its actions, said Bilahari Kausikan, former Singapore senior diplomat.

"If I was sitting in Beijing ... I will be very concerned about the crisis in Ukraine" as well as the Western sanctions against the country and how rising energy prices will impact the global economy, he told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" on Friday. "I don't think the Chinese can look" at the crisis "with great calmness," he said.

Although China could be ambivalent to the current situation in Ukraine as it tries to maintain an "uneasy balance" with Russia, they might be "quite pleased" to see the United States and European Union "caught on the backfoot" by this crisis without being able to do anything to reverse it, Kausikan said.

He added that Western sanctions against Russia do not seem to be deterring President Vladimir Putin from de-escalating tensions, but they act as a "symbol of disapproval and a very flagrant violation of some very fundamental principles of international order."

Charmaine Jacob

Ukraine's foreign minister says Kyiv hit by 'horrific Russian rocket strikes'

Firefighters battle fires inside a multi-storied residential building in Kyiv caused by debris from a Russian aircraft that was reportedly shot down by Ukrainian military forces around 4:20 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.
Source: State Emergency Service of Ukraine

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's minister of foreign affairs, said the capital city of Kyiv was hit with "horrific Russian rocket strikes" early Friday morning.

There were several reports about explosions heard around Kyiv. Details were murky in the fast developing situation, often with conflicting accounts.

Earlier, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said it "appeared at least three dozen missiles have been fired" at the Kyiv area within a 40 minute window.

— Christine Wang

Patreon suspends fundraiser for nonprofit providing armor to Ukrainian army

Patreon, a start-up whose website enables people to donate to individuals and groups, suspended the fundraising campaign for Come Back Alive, a nonprofit raising money to give Ukrainian soldiers body armor and other goods, a company spokesperson said.

Come Back Alive has raised over $300,000 but cannot access the money through Patreon to use it, its director, Taras Chmut, told CNBC. But Patreon doesn't permit campaigns involved in violence or buying military equipment, the spokesperson said.

Jordan Novet

Blinken says Putin's goal all along was to "get Ukraine back into his orbit"

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the State Department in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2022.
Susan Walsh / Pool | AFP | Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday evening that the U.S. took "every possible effort to deter" Russian President Vladimir Putin from advancing into Ukraine.

In an interview with NBC Nightly News, Blinken said Putin's goal all along was to "get Ukraine back into his orbit" and to "subjugate countries on his border to his will."

When asked by NBC's Lester Holt if Russia could directly threaten NATO countries, Blinken reiterated U.S. commitment to Article Five of NATO's founding treaty. A cornerstone of the 30-member alliance is the principle of collective defense, known as Article 5, which states that an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all allies.

To date, the alliance has only invoked Article 5 once — in defense of the United States in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Holt also asked about the new round of White House sanctions that President Joe Biden said would "exceed anything that's ever been done."

Blinken responded, "If President Putin decided to pursue the path of diplomacy and dialogue, we were ready for that and prepared to engage on that, but equally if he pursued the path of aggression, which tragically is exactly what he's done, we're prepared on that too and as a result, we have responded in a united way, swiftly and with real consequence to impose very severe costs on Russia for the aggression it's committing on Ukraine."

— Amanda Macias

Brazil’s Bolsonaro reprimands vice president for condemning Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro shake hands during a news conference following their talks in Moscow, Russia February 16, 2022.
Vyacheslav Prokofyev | Sputnik | via REUTERS

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday that only he, the president, could speak about the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Reuters reported, after his vice president condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Hamilton Mourao, Brazil's vice president, had earlier told reporters that he did not believe sanctions would be enough to deter Russia and that the West may need to use force, according to Reuters.

Bolsonaro, who met with Putin last week, has said little about the Russia-Ukraine crisis, but posted on Twitter on Thursday that he was committed to assisting Brazilian nationals in the country.

— Chloe Taylor

FedEx suspends Ukraine service

Global shipping giant FedEx said Thursday that it would temporarily cease service in and out of Ukraine, according to an alert posted on the company's website.

While FedEx didn't cite the Russian attack on the former Soviet nation, it did note concern for the safety of its employees.

"The safety of our team members is our top priority," the company said. "We are closely monitoring the situation and implementing contingency plans to minimize impact."

FedEx has more than 180 employees in Ukraine, according to previous disclosures. The company has more than 700 employees in Russia.

– Mike Calia

Dow slashes 859-point loss, closing positive in stunning market reversal

Traders on the floor of the NYSE, Feb. 24, 2022.
Source: NYSE

Stocks staged a massive comeback on Thursday following steep declines posted earlier in the day.

In a sharp reversal, the S&P 500 rose 1.5% to 4,288.70 after dropping more than 2.6% earlier in the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 92.07 points to 33,223.83, erasing an 859-point drop. The Nasdaq Composite ended the session 3.3% higher at 13,473.59, after being down nearly 3.5% at one point in the session. The Nasdaq still sits about 16% from its all-time high, however.

European stocks sold off, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 dropping more than 3% to its lowest point of the year. The VanEck Russia ETF, a U.S.-traded security which invests in top Russian companies, plunged 19% on Thursday.

Oil prices settled well off their highs alongside the recovery in equities. Global oil benchmark Brent jumped 1% to around $92 per barrel, after hitting the $100 level for the first time since 2014. The U.S. oil benchmark, WTI, traded about 1% higher around $92 per barrel after jumping just shy of $100 per barrel earlier in the session.

— Amanda Macias and Maggie Fitzgerald