Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was asked to evacuate Kyiv at the behest of the U.S. government but turned down the offer.
Zelenskyy said in response: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” according to a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation, who described Zelenskyy as upbeat.
Invading Russian forces closed in on Ukraine’s capital on Saturday, in an apparent encircling movement after a barrage of airstrikes on cities and military bases around the country.
In a video posted early Saturday morning, Zelenskyy denied claims that he has called his army to stand down in Ukraine.
“Good morning. There is a lot of fake information online that I call our army to put down arms and there is evacuation going on.”
“So here is a thing. I’m here. We won’t put down weapons, we’ll protect our country because our weapon is our truth and it is our land, our country, our children and we will defend all of it. That’s it. That’s what I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine”