Ukrainian president: We will not lay down our weapons


The Ukrainian president posted a defiant social media video on Saturday vowing to fight on as Russian forces advanced into Kyiv.

Volodymyr Zelensky urged people not to believe “fake news” in an effort to combat rumours that he has called on the army to surrender to Russian troops.

“Good morning everybody. Do not believe fake news. I am here,” he said.

“We will not lay down our weapons. We will defend our country.

“Our weapons are our strength. This is our land. Our country. Our children. We will protect all of them,” he added in the video, which appeared to be shot in downtown Kyiv.

Zelensky had earlier refused a US offer of evacuation.

An adviser to Mr Zelensky says that fighting is raging in the capital and in the country’s south, and that the Ukrainian military is successfully fending off Russian assaults.

Mykhailo Podolyak said that small groups of Russian forces tried to infiltrate Kyiv and engaged in fighting with Ukrainian troops.

He said that Russia wants to seize control of the Ukrainian capital and destroy the country’s leadership, but said the Russian military has failed to make any gains and that the Ukrainian forces control the situation in Kyiv.

He said Russian forces were also focusing on the country’s south, where intense fighting is underway in Kherson just north of Crimea, and in the Black Sea ports of Mykolaiv, Odesa and around Mariupol.

He said that Russia considers it a priority to seize the south, but it has failed to make any significant gains.“Ukraine hasn’t simply withstood it. Ukraine is winning,” Podolyak said at a briefing.

Authorities in Kyiv have urged residents to seek or remain in shelters, avoid going near windows or on balconies and take precautions against being hit by debris or bullets.

Shocking images overnight show bombs exploding in the night sky, burning vehicles and buildings damaged by shells.

The have been explosions close to a metro station in the western centre of the city and a battle is ongoing for control of a thermal power plant in north.

A bridge near the Beresteyskaya metro station has been blown up.