President Volodymyr Zelensky had warned that Russia would try to “storm” the capital in the early hours of today, as he called on Ukrainians to “stand firm” and take up arms where possible. The ministry of defense suggested that citizens make “Molotov cocktails” if necessary to prepare for the attack.
The Ukrainian leader scrambled to assemble an army to resist incoming Russian troops into Kiev, issuing a decree that banned all Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country.
Ukrainian forces have so far repelled Russian troops from seizing Kiev after a long, brutal night of street fighting in the capital.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces said there were “heavy battles ongoing” in one part of the city on Saturday morning, while “active combat” was taking place in some streets.
More than 50 explosions and heavy machine gun fire were heard overnight in the capital as Kiev residents took shelter in the city’s subway stations.
The area southwest of Kiev had been struck this morning by two missiles, with pictures showing significant damage to a residential tower block. Residents of the building detail the terror with their young daughter by their side.
These attacks continue to hit Ukraine despite promises from Russian President Vladimir Putin that he would not target civilians. The Kremlin leader was accused of war crimes yesterday following harrowing reports that Russia had shelled an orphanage and kindergarten in Volzel, just outside Kiev, causing casualties including children.
Mr Zelensky is understood to have rejected an offer from United States President Joe Biden to be evacuated from Kiev amid fears that Russian special forces are currently hunting him down.
“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride”, Zelensky declared to a senior American intelligence official on Friday, says The Associated Press who claims to have direct knowledge of the conversation.