Moscow: The Russian military claims it has taken control of an airport just outside Kyiv, as Kremlin forces bear down on the Ukrainian capital. The claim could not be independently verified. Taking possession of the airport in Hostomel, which has a long runway allowing the landing of heavy-lift transport planes, would mean Russia can airlift troops directly to Kyiv’s outskirts. Hostomel is just seven kilometres (four miles) northwest of Kyiv.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Friday that the Russian airborne forces used 200 helicopters to land in Hostomel and killed over 200 troops belonging to Ukraine’s Special Forces.
Konashenkov claimed that Russian troops suffered no casualties. That contradicts Ukrainian claims that Russian troops sustained heavy casualties in the fighting there.
Meanwhile in Berlin Germany’s defence ministry confirmed media reports that it is deploying additional military assets to NATO’s eastern flank. German weekly ‘Der Spiegel’ reported that the deployments included 150 soldiers and about a dozen Boxer armored fighting vehicles, two ships and anti-missile systems.
Germany is also assessing whether to deploy Patriot anti-missile systems to an eastern European NATO country, Thiels said. Decisions on deploying further troops could be expected soon, he added.