Overnight, Russian soldiers launched an aggressive assault on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, with gunfire and explosions reported in the Ukrainian capital on Friday night into Saturday morning.
Kyiv citizens were advised by Ukrainian authorities to take cover as street violence lasted far into the morning. To prevent being hit by falling debris or gunfire, residents were instructed to remain in shelters and keep their distance from windows and balconies.
In the aftermath of the attack, hundreds of people have been killed or injured.. Kyiv was damaged by Russian artillery, which also destroyed schools and bridges.
198 Ukrainians have died as a result of Russia’s assaults, according to Viktor Lyashko, the Health Minister. It was determined that three of the victims were youngsters. Over 1,000 individuals had been injured by Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council secretary, Oleksiy Danilov, claimed that Kyiv was still in Ukraine’s possession.
“We are stopping the horde as best as we can, the situation in Kyiv is under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and our citizens,” he added, as per Kyiv Independent.
As Russian forces poured into the city from the east, south, and north on Friday night and into Saturday morning, the city echoed with gunshots and artillery.
A US offer to evacuate Volodymyr Zelensky from Kyiv was rejected by the Ukrainian president, who opted to stay behind with his people to resist in the face of ongoing bloodshed.
A senior American intelligence officer with firsthand knowledge of the exchange quoted Zelensky as saying: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,”
Late Friday, Zelensky sent a video message to his countrymen, asking them to be ready for a nocturnal attack and pleading for their unity and strength.
“The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now,” Zelensky said. “This night will be very difficult, and the enemy will use all available forces to break the resistance of Ukrainians.”
“We can’t lose the capital,” he further added, emphatically.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vowed to protect his nation in a new video released on Saturday.
“There’s a lot of fake information online that I call on our army to lay down arms, and that there’s evacuation,” he said. “I’m here. We won’t lay down our arms. We will defend our state.”
Russia’s procession towards Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, was slowed by a vigorous response by the Ukrainian military overnight, according to the U.S. Defense Department sources.
How much Ukraine or Russia really controls remains to be seen, however. Melitopol, a city in southern Ukraine, was taken over by the Russian troops on Saturday.
Victory Avenue, one of Kiev’s busiest thoroughfares, was under Russian bombardment, according to Ukrainian military reports.
Kyiv Independent reports a very intense battle surrounding the Kyiv Zoo in the western Shuliavka district, with dozens of explosions and heavy machine-gun fire heard. Footage from Shuliavka, Ukraine, shows automobiles on fire, as well as explosions and fireballs.
Ukraine’s 101st Brigade smashed a column of Russian soldiers, including two trucks with tanks, and another tank, near the Beresteiska metro station, the local media claimed.
Troieshchyna, in the city’s northeastern suburbs, was the scene of heavy combat as well. This is Russia’s second effort in less than 24 hours to cut power to the station.
Two Russian Il-76 heavy aircraft, which can carry more than 150 paratroopers, were reportedly shot down by the Ukrainian military, according to reports.
During the fierce battle that raged south of Kiev, near Vasylkiv, a Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down. Two hours later, the second jet was shot down near the Ukrainian border, roughly 50 miles south of Bila Tserkva. Neither Russia nor the United States have commented on these incidents.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reported Saturday morning that 3,500 Russians had been killed and another 200 captured since the assault started.
After the second day of Russia’s invasion, the overall number of dead was unknown. After the first day of conflict, Ukraine had recorded 137 dead and claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of Russians. Russian officials have made no mention of the deaths that have occurred so far in the conflict.
25 civilians have been killed, and it is estimated that 100,000 people have fled their homes as a consequence of the shelling and bombing, according to the United Nations. As the conflict worsens, the UN estimates that up to 4 million people might be forced to evacuate their homes.