“Thousands of Ukrainians have lined up to fight after Zelensky declared a general mobilisation and called on citizens to protect their country.”
As Russian military closes in on Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, city’s defenders make a stand against the invading force.
On Saturday morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refused a Biden administration’s offer to vacate the capital city Kyiv. The Ukrainian leader told Washington that his people needed “ammunition, not a ride.”
The Russian forces have breached suburbs of Kyiv, European media reports say. “Fighting intensified in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv overnight,” Germany’s DW News reported. “Thousands of Kyiv residents spent the night in bomb shelters and metro stations.”
Amid the sound of Russian shelling in the background, President Zelenskyy posted a video on social media showing him and armed defenders outside the presidential office.
“Our troops are here, citizens are here,” Zelenskyy said, assuring that “all of us are here protecting our independence of our country. And it will continue to be this way. Glory to our defenders, Glory to Ukraine, Glory to Heroes.”
"This is our land, our country, our children. And we will defend all of that."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Ukrainians to dispel misinformation that he had called upon the army to lay down arms. pic.twitter.com/PdGQRnqPBJ
— DW News (@dwnews) February 26, 2022
President Zelenskyy believes that invading the Russian forces have orders to eliminate him and his family. “The enemy marked me as target number one, and my family as target number two,” he said.
The AP News reported President Zelenskyy defiant response to Washington:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was asked to evacuate Kyiv at the behest of the U.S. government but turned down the offer.
Zelenskyy said in response: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” according to a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation, who described Zelenskyy as upbeat.
Invading Russian forces closed in on Ukraine’s capital on Saturday, in an apparent encircling movement after a barrage of airstrikes on cities and military bases around the country.
Thousands Enlist to Fight Invaders
The defense of Kyiv is being bolstered by fresh civilian conscripts. Media reports showed armed volunteers patrolling central Kyiv on Friday.
“Thousands of Ukrainians have lined up to fight after Zelensky declared a general mobilisation and called on citizens to protect their country,” TV channel France24 reported.
With citizenry gearing up for the defense of the city, the invading Russian columns are expected to face pitched streets battles with Ukrainians armed with small weapons and Molotov cocktails.
I learn to use #Kalashnikov and prepare to bear arms. It sounds surreal as just a few days ago it would never come to my mind. Our #women will protect our soil the same way as our #men. Go #Ukraine! 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/UbF4JRGlcy
— Kira Rudik (@kiraincongress) February 25, 2022
The Russian invasion force at the gates of Kyiv faces strong resistance from the Ukrainian army. “Russian assaults on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv have been met with fierce resistance, as the Ukrainian military says it fought off several attacks,” the BBC noted Saturday morning.
“Military criminals of Russia attacked one of the military units in Kyiv on Victory Avenue. The attack has been fought back,” the Ukrainian armed forces said in a statement.
Moscow also made claims of its advance towards Kyiv. “The Russian defence ministry claimed its forces had blocked Kyiv from the West and taken control of Gostomel airport nearby,” UK TV channel Sky News reported citing Russian state media.
Moment of the strike on a building in Kyiv pic.twitter.com/5T32QiDNlt
— Michael A. Horowitz (@michaelh992) February 26, 2022
There are reports of heavy Russian shelling across the capital. “A building in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv has been set on fire and severely damaged after being hit by fragments of a Russian rocket,” the BBC reported Saturday morning. The number of civilian casualties are not yet known.
The Reuters reported city’s response to advancing Russian forces:
People in Kyiv were told to make Molotov cocktail petrol bombs on Friday as they hid in makeshift shelters and basements, awaiting a Russian assault on the Ukrainian capital.
Missiles pounded Kyiv overnight and air raid sirens wailed, increasing fears among residents who did not flee the city of 3 million on Thursday that an assault was imminent.
“Make Molotov cocktails, neutralise the occupier!,” the Defence Ministry said, while local authorities told people in the northwestern Obolon area of the city to stay off the streets because “active hostilities” were approaching.
Some residents took refuge in subway stations being used as air-raid shelters, or rushed to basements of apartments blocks or other buildings when air-raid warnings sounded.
Putin Calls on Ukrainian Army to Putsch, Capitulate
With Russian forces staging a multipronged invasion, President Vladimir Putin told the Ukrainian military to overthrow country’s elected government to seek favorable terms of surrender. “Take power into your own hands, it will be easier for us to reach agreement,” Putinr said in a televised statement on Friday.
The Russian military has overwhelming air superiority in this campaign. They have decimated Ukrainian civilian and military airfields, making it difficult for the U.S. and Western allies to fly in military aid to the beleaguered country.
“Russian Armed Forces hit a total of 821 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects, including 14 military airstrips, 19 control centers and communication nodes, 24 S-300 and Osa missile air defense systems, 48 radar stations,” Russian state news agency TASS reported Saturday. “During the night, Russian Armed Forces carried out a long-range precision strike via naval-and air-based cruise missiles on Ukrainian military infrastructure objects,” the news outlet added citing Russian defense ministry spokesman.
The street-by-street battles are apparently taking a toll on the invading Russian forces. As of Saturday morning, estimated 3,500 Russian soldiers have been killed and 200 captured, the Ukrainian sources say. Fourteen Russian warplanes and more than 100 tanks have also reportedly been destroyed.
RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CONTINUES
“Russian forces continued to pound Kyiv and other cities with artillery and cruise missiles in a campaign that has sent hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing westwards towards the European Union, clogging major highways and railway lines,” Reuters reported.
GERMANY REVERSES BAN ON WEAPONS SALE TO UKRAINE
‘Berlin has reportedly given the go ahead for the Netherlands to sell 400 German-made rocket-propelled grenade launchers to Ukraine,” German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports.DONATE
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