Ukraine says it derailed Russian bid to capture capital Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday said his country's military had halted the Russian forces' attempt to capture the capital Kyiv and oust his government. He further urged Russian people to request their leader Vladimir Putin to stop the bloody invasion. The Ukrainian army was in control of the capital city and main cities around it, Zelenskyy said.
- Zelenskyy's statement came even as Russian troops continued to close in on the Ukrainian capital.
- The world's largest country launched an attack on neighboring Ukraine on Thursday after weeks of border tensions over the latter's wish to join the international military alliance NATO.
- Hundreds have allegedly been killed and wounded on both sides in the fighting.
"We have derailed their plan," 44-year-old Zelenskyy said in a video statement. The authorities have placed Kyiv under a strict curfew and the city mayor Vitali Klitchsko said all violators will be considered "enemies." The mayor added that he was extending the curfew hours and it would now be in force between 5:00 pm and 8:00 am.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom's defense ministry warned that the bulk of the invading Russian forces were just 30 kilometers from the city center. "Russian forces have continued their advance on Kyiv," the ministry said in an update posted on Twitter.
On Friday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) took up a resolution against the Russian attack on Ukraine. While Russia vetoed the motion, eleven members—including the United States and the United Kingdom—voted for it. However, three members—India, China, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—abstained from voting. Zelenskyy has since urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support Ukraine at the security council.
"Spoke with Prime Minister @narendramodi. Informed of the course of Ukraine repulsing Russian aggression. More than 1,00,000 invaders are on our land. They insidiously fire on residential buildings. Urged India to give us political support in UN Security Council. Stop the aggressor together!" Zelenskyy tweeted.
Meanwhile, Ukraine says at least 198 people, including civilians and soldiers, have been killed on its side and claims over 1,000 Russian soldiers have died in the fighting. Separately, the United Nations said more than 1,00,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes in the country. The UN warned that the conflict could force up to 50 lakh refugees to flee to other countries.