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Ukraine’s prez says ‘we survived the night’ in defiant post-Kyiv attack video

Ns News Online DeskNs News Online Desk: As Russian troops continued their assault on Kyiv, Ukraine’s defiant President proclaimed “we survived” the night “and we are successfully fighting off the enemy attack.”

Volodymyr Zelensky reaffirmed his commitment to fight against the Russian invasion at a news briefing in the Ukrainian capital, refusing an American offer to evacuate. “The fight is here,” he said.

Overnight, explosions and gunfire were reported in and around Kyiv, with residents seeking shelter from the aggressive Russian onslaught underground.

Zelensky took to Twitter to thank Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for banning the passage of Russian ships on the Black Sea and for “significant military and humanitarian support.”

Overnight, gunfire was reported in the Ukrainian capital as Russian forces forged on with an aggressive overnight offensive Friday into Saturday. Ukrainian officials warned Kyiv residents to shelter in place as street fighting continued in the city into the morning. The alert advised people to remain in shelters and stay away from windows and balconies to avoid being struck by debris or gunfire.

Hundreds of casualties have already been reported in the wake of the assault. Russian shells demolished apartment buildings in Kyiv and schools and bridges were also destroyed.

According to Health Minister Viktor Lyashko, 198 Ukrainians have been killed in Russia’s attacks. Three victims were identified as children. Over 1,000 people were wounded as of Saturday morning.

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said at around 7 a.m. Saturday that Kyiv was still under the country’s control.

“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 said, according to the Kyiv Independent.

Artillery and gunshots echoed through the city’s streets Friday night and Saturday morning as Russian troops stormed from the south, east and north. In the face of the violence, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declined an offer from the US to be evacuated from Kyiv, instead choosing to remain behind with his countrymen and fight.

“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” Zelensky said, The Associated Press reported, citing a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation.

Late Friday, Zelensky addressed his countrymen in a video, telling them to brace for an overnight assault and urging 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 added, emphatically. Zelensky posted another video from Kyiv on Saturday morning, vowing to defend his country.

“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.”

The Ukrainian military put up a fierce defense against the invading forces overnight, slowing down Russia’s procession towards Kyiv, according to US defense officials.

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