I will stay in Ukraine despite Russia’s aggression – Zelenskiy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has vowed on Friday has vowed to stay in Kyiv despite Russian troops advancing on the capital.

“(The) enemy has marked me down as the number one target,” Zelenskiy warned in a video message as heavy fighting was reported on multiple fronts.

“My family is the number two target. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.

“I will stay in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine,” he said.

Zelenskiy said 137 military personnel and civilians had been killed in the fighting, with hundreds wounded. Ukrainian officials had earlier reported at least 70 people killed.

Ukrainian forces downed an aircraft over Kyiv early on Friday, which then crashed into a residential building and set it on fire, said Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the interior minister. It was unclear if the aircraft was manned.

A missile hit a Ukrainian border post in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhya, killing and wounding some guards, the border guard service said.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pleaded for “more weapons to continue fighting … the amount of tanks, armoured vehicles, airplanes, helicopters that Russia threw on Ukraine is unimaginable”.

Putin says Russia is carrying out “a special military operation” to stop the Ukrainian government from committing genocide against its own people – an accusation the West calls baseless. He also says Ukraine is an illegitimate state whose lands historically belong to Russia.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution that would condemn Russia’s invasion and require Moscow’s immediate withdrawal.

However, Moscow can veto the measure, and it was unclear how China would vote.


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