KIEV: Ukrainian troops repelled a Russian attack on Kiev, officials said Saturday, but “sabotage groups” infiltrated the capital as Ukraine reported 198 civilians, including children, were killed following the Russian invasion.
Provocative Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed his pro-Western country will never bow to the Kremlin, even as Russia says it has fired cruise missiles at military targets.
On the third day of the Russian offensive, as explosions were heard around Kiev, Zelensky, speaking in a video message, looked tired but determined in olive green military uniform.
“I am here. We will not lay down any weapons. We will defend our state, because our weapons are our truth,” the 44-year-old said.
“Our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children and we will protect all of this.”
Ignoring warnings from the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed a full-scale invasion that the UN refugee agency said has forced almost 116,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries.
Tens of thousands more are estimated to be displaced within Ukraine, with many on the move to less affected western areas of the country.