VIDEO: Ukraine's president vows to continue fighting and not put down arms

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. (Photo: social media)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. (Photo: social media)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On Saturday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called upon Ukrainians not to surrender and to defend the capital, Kiev.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are engaged in violent confrontations, two days after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"Lately, there has been a lot of fake information online that I call on our army to lay down arms and to evacuate,” Zelensky said in a video message posted on his online platforms this morning. He added that "I am here. We will not surrender, we will not put down arms, and we will defend our country."

"Our weapon is our truth, and the truth is that this is our land, our country, and our children, and we will defend all of this," he added.

This comes at a time when the Interfax agency, citing the Ukrainian Energy Ministry, reported that Russian forces had taken control of the Kiev hydroelectric power station north of the Ukrainian capital.

Clashes erupted between Russian and Ukrainian forces on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital on Saturday, while fierce urban warfare took place in Sumy.

Ukrainian authorities have urged citizens to help defend the city against the advance of Russian forces, in the worst European security crisis in decades.

The Ukrainian president's office said that fighting was taking place near the cities of Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Odesa, while the Ukrainian military reported that the country had been struck by cruise missiles from across the Black Sea.

Furthermore, gunshots were heard near government headquarters in the center of Kiev this morning, and the cities of Sumy, Poltava, and Mariupol were also subjected to airstrikes.

Although the fighting has intensified, the Russian and Ukrainian governments have signaled they are open to negotiations, offering a glimmer of hope for diplomacy after Moscow's offensive on Thursday.

Ukraine has seen increased displacement since the outbreak of the war. Some families seek out shelters, while others try to board crowded trains heading west, as hundreds of thousands of people leave their homes in search of safety.

After weeks of warnings from Western leaders, Putin unleashed an invasion of Ukraine from the north, east, and south on Thursday, in an attack that threatened to overturn the post-Cold War order in Europe.

Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for independence when the Soviet Union collapsed, and Kiev has hoped to join NATO and the European Union, to the great consternation of Moscow.