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26th Feb 2022

Ukrainian president turns down evacuation request, says ‘send ammunition’

Simon Bland

‘The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has refused requests from the US government to evacuate Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv after it came under attack by Russia, instead asking for weapons to aid in the ongoing fight.

As reported in multiple outlets, Kyiv came under heavy fire from Russian military on Saturday, with Ukrainian officials urging local residents to take immediate shelter.

Amid the ongoing chaos, Ukraine’s president has continued to release visuals and video content assuring the population that he is still very much in the country with no plans on leaving.

After the United States government requested that Ukraines capital city be evacuated following three-days of ongoing destruction, Zelenskyy refused, instead urging supporters to send weapons in order to help fight back.

“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” said Zelenskyy, according to reports from a US government intelligence official.

“Good morning everybody. Do not believe fake news. I am here,” said Zelensky in his latest video posted to Twitter, released early Saturday.

“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.”

In the video, Zelenskyy can be seen standing in front of the ‘Chimeras house’, opposite the presidential palace. Appearing calm if a little dishevelled – and sporting a little stubble – it’s believed that Zelenskyy filmed this update after enduring another night of Russian attacks.

Zelenskyy’s series of social media videos come amid false reports that the Ukrainian president had fled the country following Russia’s invasion. However his continued on-the-ground footage proves that he’s stayed put and shows no plans of leaving anytime soon.

His latest video comes just a few days after he was reported to have told European leaders that this “might be the last time you see me alive” during a recent video conference call.

Meanwhile, Russian troops staged an intense attack on the Ukranian capitol and a military base on Saturday, with locals urged to take shelter, avoid getting too close to windows or standing on balconies and be wary of rogue debris or bullets.

For more information on some of the latest developments in Ukraine, read our latest report on overnight activities.

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