Kyiv still under Ukrainian control as soldiers 'defend homeland and Europe'

Kyiv still under Ukrainian control as soldiers 'defend homeland and Europe'

February 26, 2022

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Kyiv is still under Ukrainian control as Russia’s invasion of the country enters its third day.

In a video on social media, he said: ‘We have withstood and are successfully repelling enemy attacks. The fighting goes on.’

Zelenskiy told viewers there is almost full support from EU countries for disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT interbank system for facilitating payments.

This is one of the harsher possible sanctions which has been backed by Boris Johnson which could have serious repercussions for Russia’s economy.

For the latest updates on the Russia-Ukraine war, visit our live blog: Russia-Ukraine live

Ukraine’s President urged Germany and Hungary to ‘have the courage to support this decision’, adding: ‘We have the courage to defend our homeland, to defend Europe.’

He called on every citizen who is ready to defend the country from Russian forces to come forward, promising to arm them if they step forward.

‘To everyone in the Russian Federation who has not lost their conscience, it’s time to come out with protests against the war with Ukraine,’ he added.

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After surviving another night of Russia’s bombardments of Kyiv, Zelenskiy, 44, posted another defiant message saying his military ‘will not lay down their weapons’.

He had been urged to leave the city but turned down an offer from the US government to evacuate him.

But despite the threat to his life he has vowed to stay on, saying: ‘The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.’

He added: ‘There’s a lot of fake information online that I call on our army to lay down arms, and that there’s been an evacuation ordered; I’m here. We won’t lay down our arms. We will defend our state.’

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘Yesterday I urged NATO and Nordic partners to do all they can to support Ukraine and Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

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‘I am pleased even more allies have come forward with defensive and humanitarian aid. We must stand with the Ukrainian people as they defend their country and democracies everywhere.’

Today Ukraine’s government announced that 198 people had been killed in the invasion so far, while more than 1,000 have been left injured. It is unclear if the toll contained both military and civilian casualties.

Kyiv continues to be hit by Russian rocket strikes, and fierce fighting has broken out in the streets, with gunfire reported near government buildings in the city centre.

US defence officials estimate Russia has now launched more than 200 missiles into Ukraine.

A spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, Shabia Mantoo, said more than 100,000 people were believed to have left their homes in Ukraine and that ‘up to four million people may flee to other countries if the situation escalates’.

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