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‘We Are All Here,’ President Zelenskyy Quells Rumours That He Has Fled Ukraine

He warned in a subsequent message that the fighting could soon become severe.

Updated
World
2 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Rajbir Singh

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday posted a video on social media, assuring people he is at the capital Kyiv even as Russian troops close in.

After Russian forces announced they had captured strategic locations to Kyiv’s north, the Ukrainian leader posted the self-shot video from central Kyiv.

"We're all here. Our military is here. Citizens in society are here. We're all here defending our independence, our country, and it will stay this way," he said, standing with his prime minister, chief of staff and other senior aides outside the presidency building. His exact location was kept discreet.

He warned in a subsequent message that the fighting could soon become severe, with Russian troops attacking the city in a “vile, cruel and inhuman” manner.

“We have to persevere tonight. The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now. The night will be hard, very hard, but there will be a morning,” Zelenskyy said.

As Russian missiles bombarded the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Friday, rumours in Russian media stated that he had fled Ukraine. Italy’s prime minister even told his own Parliament that Zelenskyy had missed a planned call with him.

Zelenskyy later said in a Twitter post that the reason he missed the phone call was that people were dying in heavy fighting nearby.

“Next time I’ll try to move the war schedule to talk to #MarioDraghi at a specific time,” Zelenskyy said. “Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to fight for its people.”

He said he had earlier discussed strengthening sanctions, concrete defence assistance, and an anti-war coalition with President of United States of America, Joe Biden.

“President Putin and Minister Lavrov are directly responsible for Russia’s unprovoked and unlawful further invasion of Ukraine,” the US treasury department had said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in a televised address from Moscow, Putin branded Zelensky’s government as “terrorists” and “a gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis”, urging the Ukrainian military to mutiny

Ukraine's parliament voted on Wednesday to approve a law that gave citizens the right to bear arms, mere hours before Russia's attack, according to a Reuters report.

US officials told CNN that they feared Kyiv could fall under Russian control within days.

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Ukraine President Rejects US’ Evacuation Offer

A report from Associated Press on Saturday stated that the President refused help from the US government when he was asked to evacuate Kyiv.

"The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride," according to a senior American intelligence official, the report said.

Ukraine's army said in a Facebook post that it had repelled a Russian attack on one of Kyiv's main avenues.

Earlier, the Ukraine president took a dig at the US and said "We are defending our country alone." "This morning, we are defending our country alone. Just like yesterday, the most powerful country in the world looked on from a distance," he said in a Facebook video, as quoted by CNN.

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