'Need ammunition, not ride': Ukrainian President rejects US's evacuation offer
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has turned down an offer from the United States government to be evacuated from the country amid the Russian invasion, according to a report by Associated Press. Instead, he said he needed ammunition to fight the invaders. The evacuation offer came even as Russian troops continued to encircle the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
- The developments come as Russia's full-blown attack on Ukraine enters its third day.
- 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 in the fighting on both sides.
"The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride," 44-year-old Zelenskyy reportedly told a US intelligence official. Earlier, in a self-shot video from outside the presidency building in central Kyiv, he vowed to protect Ukraine. "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.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday 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. Moscow notably exercised the veto power as a permanent member of the Council.
In another development, the Russian army said it has taken control of the Ukrainian city of Melitopol. Ukraine says at least 137 people, including civilians and soldiers, have been killed on its side and claims over 1,000 Russian soldiers had so far been killed in the fighting. Separately, the United Nations said more than 1,00,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes in the country.