Saturday marked the third day in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Russian troops attempting to enter Kyiv as Ukrainian forces and thousands of civilian volunteers defended the city.
Russian troops failed to take Kyiv — the capital city of Ukraine and a key target in the Russian invasion — early Saturday despite an onslaught of airstrikes and armed incursions, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Smoke and flames rise over during the shelling near Kyiv, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine February 26, 2022,” Reuters’ foreign policy correspondent Idrees Ali tweeted, along with a photo of the scene.
“We knew that the night would be difficult because the Russian Federation would use all its resources and reserves to inflict on us maximum damage in the maximum number of locations,” President Zelensky’s adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said early Saturday. “Kyiv is their priority number one because the main declared goal of the Russian operation is the annihilation of Ukraine’s political and military leadership. That is why they are pouring the maximum number of Russian troops toward Kyiv.”
In a video circulating social media, what appears to be a missile or an aircraft was shot down over Kyiv — just one incident showing Ukraine’s resistance.
In a video posted online early Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “We successfully fought off enemy attacks. We are defending our country, our land, future of our children. Kyiv & key places near the capital are under our control. The occupiers wanted to capture our capital and install their puppets like Donetsk. We broke their idea.”
Putin showed no signs of deescalating the conflict. France 24 English posted a map of Ukraine on Twitter showing where Russia has been launching attacks.
“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that #Kyiv was still under Ukrainian control. But where has #Russia been launching its attacks? FRANCE 24’s map gives you an overview,” the outlet wrote.
Videos on social media, such as one verified by The New York Times, captured a missile hitting a high-rise apartment building in Kyiv.
Another video showed an oil depot on fire in Kyiv after it was struck with a missile.
Journalist Nikhil Choudhary posted video on Twitter showing Russian combat helicopters attacking Hostomel airfield in the capital city.
CBS News shared video from Ukraine that showed a fire in a nine-story apartment building in Kyiv amid Russian attacks on the city.
Despite the attacks spanning multiple days, Russia still had not taken Kyiv as of late Saturday, though the battle showed no signs of easing.
A senior defense official at the Pentagon reportedly said on Saturday that the U.S. believes Russia is “increasingly frustrated” with the lack of progress in Ukraine, blaming “a very determined resistance.”
“US has indications that Russians are ‘increasingly frustrated’ with lack of progress in Ukraine invasion, especially in the north: senior defense official,” tweeted journalist Jack Detsch. “U.S. has no indications that Russia has taken over any city in Ukraine or achieved air superiority.”
“Senior U.S. defense official not providing specifics, only to say that Russian troops have been frustrated by ‘a very determined resistance,’” Detsch continued in a follow-up tweet.
“We will defend our country,” Zelenskyy said in another video on Saturday, according to a translation by Fox News. “There’s a lot of fake information online that I call on our army to lay down arms, and that there’s evacuation.”
“I’m here. We won’t lay down our arms. We will defend our country,” he continued. “Glory to Ukraine.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin said most of the Ukrainian forces that are holding Russia back are “nationalist formations” rather than regular troops.
“We won’t retreat or surrender,” said Leonid Ostaltsev, a pizzeria owner and combat veteran. “Together with the police, veterans, cultural figures, civilians and our army—we’ll show the world what UKRAINE is.”
“Welcome to hell russian invaders,” he added in English.
According to CBS News, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, said on Saturday that 198 Ukrainians have died during the Russian assault, including three children, and 1,115 have been wounded.
She said Ukrainian forces have also managed to destroy 102 Russian tanks, 14 fighter jets, 11 helicopters, 15 artillery pieces and 536 armored vehicles.
“We are defending our homes, we are defending our families, we are defending democracy, we are defending our choice to be sovereign, but we are also defending Europe,” Markarova said.