Battle moves into Kyiv as Ukrainians fight to keep control of their capital – CNN
Kyiv, Ukraine CNN
A large residential block in the west of Kyiv was struck by a missile or rocket fire early Saturday, as the Russian invasion moved to the streets of the capital and Ukraine’s militarybattled to hold back advancing troops in multiple locations.
Images and video from the scene showed a large impact some ten floors up in the building, with the cause of the strike unclear and the extent of causalities unknown. Emergency services were already at the scene, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko.
Residents of the capital have been forced to seek shelter after a terrifying night, punctuated by explosions and gunfire, as fighting that had been closing in on Kyiv from multiple directions entered the city – typically home to nearly three million.
“Active fighting is taking place on the streets of our city. Please stay calm and be as careful as possible!” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said on its Facebook page Saturday.
The ministry called on residents to “hide indoors” and take cover to prevent injury from bullet fragments. It advised those in the city to “go immediately” to the nearest shelter if they heard air sirens.
Ukrainians have been preparing to defend their capital in recent days, with officials arming reservists and Ukrainian TV broadcasting instructions for making Molotov cocktails.
Zelensky posts video in the streets of Kyiv
As the fighting moved into the streets of the capital, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky struck a defiant tone, saying Ukrainians would not put down arms in a video posted to his Twitter account on Saturday morning.
“I am here. We are not putting down arms. We will be defending our country, because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of this,” Zelensky said in the video, which he appeared to film himself while standing on the street.
Ukrainian troops fight against a significantly more advanced military power. Russian defense spending is roughly ten times that of the Kyiv’s and its armed forces stand at some 900,000 active personnel and 2 million in reserve, versus Ukraine’s 196,000 and 900,000 reservists.
The Military Law Enforcement Service of Ukraine said they “destroyed a column of equipment of the occupiers” that, according to their preliminary information, included two cars, two trucks and an enemy tank.
Fierce clashes and explosions have been on-going in the capital’s outer suburbs, as Russian troops advance toward the capital from multiple sides.
The mayor of the town of Vasilkiv, some 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) south of Kyiv, described fierce fighting taking place in the middle of the town.
The mayor, Natalia Balasynovich, speaking on the Ukrainian Parliament channel early Saturday, said that there were losses on the Ukrainian side. m
Videos from eyewitnesses overnight showed explosions taking place in an area northwest of Kyiv, which has a military base. CNN teams in the capital reported hearing loud explosions to the west and south of the city. Shortly afterward, Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications said clashes are underway in an eastern suburb as well.
In his national address, Zelensky confirmed that Russian forces were close to the capital and said that he was still communicating with world leaders, including US President Joe Biden.
“Our main goal is to finish this slaughter,” Zelensky said in the address. “Ukrainians resist the Russian aggression heroically.”
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