Ukrainian troops have been trying to push back Russian attacks. An army unit in Kyiv reportedly repelled Russian forces on a major city avenue, the military said in a Facebook post.
Earlier this morning, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in another Facebook post that there were “heavy battles ongoing” in one part of the city, adding that “active combat” was taking place in some streets.
Russia would try to storm Kyiv
This came hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia would try to “storm” Kyiv. According to the Associated Press in response to a US request to evacuate Kyiv, Ukraine’s Zelensky said he needed “ammunition, not a ride.”
On Saturday morning Zelensky posted a video highlighting his defiance against the Russian invaders:
“We are here with our weapons. Our weapons are our truth. Our truth is that this is our land and our country,” he said.
‘we are here with our weapons. our weapons are our truth. our truth is that this our land and our country’
defiant @ZelenskyyUa after kyiv stands through the night of attacks #StopRussia pic.twitter.com/mkEZG70JLm
— maksym.eristavi 🏳️🌈 (@MaximEristavi) February 26, 2022
More than 50 explosions and heavy machine-gun fire have been reported in the capital, according to Kyiv Independent.
However, the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Oleksiy Danilov said the army was in “control” of the situation in Kyiv, saying “we are stopping the horde using all means available”, according to a report by Ukrainian news site Lb.ua.
Ukraine mobilizes citizens of Kyiv, hands out riffles
Ukraine’s Minister of Defense had issued a call for civilians between 18 and 60 to take up arms to help defend the country, but on Friday, as Russian troops got closer to the center of the city, he asked anyone over the age of 18 to volunteer. The government has also banned men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving Ukraine.
Volunteer fighters armed with assault rifles patrolled central Kyiv on Friday, ready to defend their country.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 26, 2022
Ukraine has been able to hold on to key cities despite repeated assaults from Russian military forces, says the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The statement said Russian forces were making gains from multiple fronts to try to encircle the capital city of Kyiv, but faced “strong resistance” from the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Russian forces have also made an amphibious landing in an area between the cities of Mariupol and Melitopol, located in southern Ukraine, says the MoD.