Ukraine President Turns Down Offer Of Evacuation As Combat Begins In Streets Of Kyiv
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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has refused the offer of an evacuation from the United States as street fighting continues in Kyiv, according to a senior American intelligence official cited by the Associated Press.
Zelenskyy was urged to leave the capital by the US government, but turned down the offer – with the unnamed official quoting the president as saying: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride."
The Washington Post had also quoted US and Ukrainian officials echoing the same claim, saying that the US government was prepared to help the president.
Earlier this morning, Zelenskyy also posted a video filmed in selfie mode as he walked around the streets of Kyiv, denying ‘fake’ claims that he had called for a surrender.
As translated by the BBC, he said: “Lately there has been a lot of fake information online that I call on our army to lay down arms and to evacuate.
“Listen. I am here. We will not lay down our weapons. We will defend our state, because our weapon is our truth. And the truth is that this is our land, our country, our children. And we will defend all of that.
“That’s all that I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian president has been widely praised on social media for his response to Russia’s invasion and has also vowed not to leave Kyiv, even though he knows he is a target.
Kyiv, our splendid, peaceful city, survived another night under attacks by Russian ground forces, missiles. One of them has hit a residential apartment in Kyiv. I demand the world: fully isolate Russia, expel ambassadors, oil embargo, ruin its economy. Stop Russian war criminals! pic.twitter.com/c3ia46Ctjq— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 26, 2022
In a video message on Friday (25 February), he said: “[The] enemy has marked me down as the number one target,
“My family is the number two target. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.
“I will stay in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine.”
Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Lyashko said today (26 February) that 198 people have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded in the Russian offensive.
Lyashko confirmed there were three children among those killed. His statement was unclear whether the casualties included military and civilians.
He said another 1,115 people, including 33 children, were wounded in the Russian invasion.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.