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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vows to stay in Kyiv as Russian troops advance on capital

source:muvtime:2023-11-30 18:12:59

Missiles pounded the Ukrainian capital on Friday as Russian forces pressed their advance and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pleaded with the international community to do more, saying sanctions announced so far were not enough.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vows to stay in Kyiv as Russian troops advance on capital

Air raid sirens wailed over the city of 3 million people, where some were sheltering in underground metro stations, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion that has shocked the world.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vows to stay in Kyiv as Russian troops advance on capital

A senior Ukrainian official said Russian forces would enter areas just outside the capital later on Friday and that Ukrainian troops were defending positions on four fronts despite being outnumbered.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vows to stay in Kyiv as Russian troops advance on capital

'NUMBER ONE TARGET' 

Tens of thousands of people have fled as explosions and gunfire rocked major cities. Dozens have been reported killed. Russian troops seized the Chernobyl former nuclear power plant north of Kyiv as they advanced on the city from Belarus.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he understood Russian troops were coming for him but vowed to stay in Kyiv.

"(The) enemy has marked me down as the number one target," Zelenskiy said in a video message. "My family is the number two target. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state."

Russia launched its invasion by land, air, and sea on Thursday following a declaration of war by Putin, in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.

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Putin says Ukraine is an illegitimate state carved out of Russia, a view Ukrainians see as an attempt to erase their more than thousand-year history.

'HORRIFIC'

Britain said Moscow aimed to conquer all of Ukraine, and its military had failed to meet its main objectives on the first day because it failed to anticipate Ukrainians would resist.

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"Contrary to great Russian claims - and indeed President Putin's sort of vision that somehow the Ukrainians would be liberated and would be flocking to his cause - he's got that completely wrong, and the Russian army has failed to deliver, on day one, its main objective," Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky.

A democratic nation of 44 million people, Ukraine voted for independence at the fall of the Soviet Union and has recently stepped up efforts to join the NATO military alliance and the European Union, aspirations that infuriate Moscow.

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