Zelensky says Ukraine halted Kremlin bid to capture Kyiv, curfew toughened

Updated on Feb 26, 2022 05:35 PM IST

Ukraine-Russia conflict: President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Ukrainian army was in control of the capital and main cities around it.

 Firefighters work by a high-rise apartment block which was hit by recent shelling in Kyiv on Saturday.(AFP)
 Firefighters work by a high-rise apartment block which was hit by recent shelling in Kyiv on Saturday.(AFP)

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday the nation’s military had halted Russian forces’ bid to capture capital Kyiv and oust him. Zelensky further urged Russians to plead with their leader Vladimir Putin to stop the invasion.

"We've derailed their plan," the 44-year-old leader said in a new video address, adding the Ukrainian army was in control of the capital and main cities around it, an AFP report said.

Zelensky’s statement came amid a report from the UK ministry of defence that said despite resistance from Ukrainian troops, Russian forces were just 30km away from Kyiv’s city centre.

The city was put under a tight curfew with Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitchsko stating violators will be considered 'enemies'. Taking to Telegram messaging app, the mayor said he is extending the curfew hours and it will be run from 5 pm until 8am.

Watch: Russian missile tears through residential building in Kyiv

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president thanked Russians who spoke out against the war and asked them to keep up the pressure on the Kremlin, saying: "Simply stop those who are lying to you, lying to us, lying to the entire world."

Further, Zelensky urged Germany and Hungary to help sever Russia’s ties with the SWIFT banking system to punish Moscow for invading his country.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday the nation’s military had halted Russian forces’ bid to capture capital Kyiv and oust him. Zelensky further urged Russians to plead with their leader Vladimir Putin to stop the invasion.

"We've derailed their plan," the 44-year-old leader said in a new video address, adding the Ukrainian army was in control of the capital and main cities around it, an AFP report said.

Zelensky’s statement came amid a report from the UK ministry of defence that said despite resistance from Ukrainian troops, Russian forces were just 30km away from Kyiv’s city centre.

Watch: Russian missile tears through residential building in Kyiv

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president thanked Russians who spoke out against the war and asked them to keep up the pressure on the Kremlin, saying: "Simply stop those who are lying to you, lying to us, lying to the entire world."

Further, Zelensky urged Germany and Hungary to help sever Russia’s ties with the SWIFT banking system to punish Moscow for invading his country.

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The President, a former comedian who came to power in 2019, said Russia has deployed "missiles, fighters, drones, artillery, armoured vehicles, saboteurs, and airborne forces" against Ukraine and have hit "residential areas."

Zelensky said Ukrainian forces had been fighting against Russians troops in a number of cities, including the southern city of Odessa, the northeastern city of Kharkiv and the capital Kyiv. The western city of Lviv and other cities in western and central Ukraine have been targeted with air strikes, he said.

Ukraine, Zelensky said, has "already" earned the right to join the European Union and urged the EU leaders to make that decision. "This will be key evidence of our country's support," he said.

(With agency inputs)

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