By 01:24 (UTC+2), Zelenskyy had ordered the full mobilization of the Ukrainian military for 90 days. Around 04:00 (UTC+2) local time, Kyiv was rocked with two explosions. Ukrainian Interior Ministry official Anton Herashchenko relayed via text message that those explosions were cruise and ballistic missiles being targeted at Kyiv. The Ukrainian government said that it had shot down an enemy aircraft over Kyiv, which then crashed into a residential building, setting it on fire.
Independent military analysts noted that Russian forces in the north of the country appeared to have been heavily engaged by the Ukrainian military. Russian units were attempting to encircle Kyiv and advance into Kharkiv, but were bogged down in heavy fighting, with social media images suggesting that some Russian armored columns had been ambushed. In contrast, Russian operations in the east and south were more effective. The best trained and equipped Russian units were positioned outside Donbas in the southeast and appeared to have maneuvered around the prepared defensive trenches and attacked in the rear of Ukrainian defensive positions. Meanwhile, Russian military forces advancing from the Crimea were divided into two columns, with analysts suggesting that they may have been attempting to encircle and entrap the Ukrainian defenders at Donbas, forcing the Ukrainians to abandon their prepared defenses and fight in the open.
On the morning of 25 February, Zelenskyy accused Russia of targeting civilian as well as military sites in a televised address. Ukraine government spokesperson Vadym Denysenko said that 33 civilian sites had been hit in the previous 24 hours. Ukraine’s Defence Ministry stated that Russian forces had entered the district of Obolon, Kyiv, and were approximately 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) from the Ukrainian Parliament. The Defence Ministry also announced that all Ukrainian civilians were eligible to volunteer for military service regardless of their age.
Ukrainian authorities reported that a non-critical increase in radiation exceeding control levels had been detected at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant after Russian troops had occupied the area, saying that this was due to the movement of heavy military vehicles lifting radioactive dust into the air. Russia claimed that it was defending the plant from nationalistic and terrorist groups, and that staff were monitoring radiation levels at the site.
President Zelenskyy has indicated that the Ukrainian government is not “afraid to talk about neutral status.” On the same day, President Putin indicated to President Xi Jinping of China that “Russia is willing to conduct high-level negotiations with Ukraine.”