Ukraine president vows to stay in capital as Russian invaders close in

Russian troops looking to capture capital and topple the Ukrainian presidency.

Belmont Lay | February 25, 2022, 12:00 PM

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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed on Friday, Feb. 25 to stay in capital Kyiv.

Russian invaders are advancing toward the capital as Ukrainian forces hold them off in what is the biggest attack on a European state since World War ll.

Zelenskyy warned in a video message that the "enemy has marked me down as the number one target".

"My family is the number two target. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state."

"I will stay in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine."

The safety of the Ukrainian head of state is not known immediately, Reuters reported, as his presidency and administration is under siege alongside millions of Ukrainians.

Russia launched its invasion by land, air and sea on Thursday, on a population of 44 million.

Ukraine is Europe's biggest country by area after Russia.

Zelenskyy said on Friday that 137 military personnel and civilians had been killed in the fighting so far.

An estimated 100,000 people have fled.

U.S. and Ukrainian officials say Russia aims to capture Kyiv and topple the government.

Russia seized the former nuclear power plant in Chernobyl north of Kyiv, along the shortest route to the capital from Belarus, where Russia has placed troops, Reuters also reported.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Fox News that "the amount of tanks, armoured vehicles, airplanes, helicopters that Russia threw on Ukraine is unimaginable", and Ukraine would need more weapons to continue fighting.

Russian president Vladimir Putin denied for months that he was planning an invasion.

All along the United States warned an attack was looming and shared satellite images of Russian forces massing on Ukraine's borders.

China has declined to call Moscow's assault an invasion -- as expected -- and instead urged all sides to exercise restraint.

China had been expected to back Russia diplomatically over Ukraine.

Taiwan, a self-ruled island claimed by China as its own, announced it would put sanctions on Russia.

The United Nations Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution that would condemn Russia's invasion and require Moscow's immediate withdrawal.

However, Moscow can veto the measure, and it was unclear how China would vote.

Top photos via Defence of Ukraine Twitter

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