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Russia will attack Kyiv tonight: President Zelenskyy warns of incoming assault on Ukraine

In a televised speech on Friday evening the Ukrainian leader said that he expected a sustained military attack overnight but called on citizens to remain strong.

Update:
In a televised speech on Friday evening the Ukrainian leader said that he expected a sustained military attack overnight but called on citizens to remain strong.

In an impassioned speech on Friday evening, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told his people that his intelligence agency had warned that Russia will “make an assault upon” the city of Kyiv tonight.

He added that Ukrainians “have to withstand” the latest Russian offensive after President Putin’s forces first reached the Ukrainian capital on Friday.

"This night they will make an assault upon us. We all have to understand what we are going to face. This night we have to withstand. The fate of Ukraine is now being decided. Each civilian should be as careful as possible,” Zelenskyy said in the televised address.

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Zelenskyy himself is thought to be at considerable risk as a result of the invasion and the President claimed that Russian forces have “marked me as target number one, and my family as target number two.”

Despite that threat the 44-year-old has maintained that he will not leave the capital city while it remains under attack from Russia. On Friday he posted a video of himself in the street other top government officials.

Zelenskyy strike a defiant tone against Russian invaders

On Thursday he confirmed that 137 people had died as a result of the Russian invasion but the President did not give an update on the number of casualties in his Friday speech. Instead he used it as an opportunity to give citizens and the wider world a clearer picture of the situation that Ukraine is in and to call for unity.

“Many cities of our state are under attack,” he said. “Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, our boys, our girls in Donbas, cities of the south of Ukraine. Kyiv requires special attention. We cannot lose the capital.”

Zelenskyy admitted that the next few hours could be extremely difficult for the already battered city to withstand but added a note of optimism that he will hope enthuses the Ukrainian defence.

“The night will be tough,” he warned. “Very tough. But the morning will come.”

Before the sun rose on Friday morning multiple explosions lit up the sky above Kyiv as missile strikes sought to crush the defender’s spirits. The importance of Kyiv cannot be overestimated as President Putin looks to remove the democratically elected Zelenskyy in favour of a leader more closely aligned with Moscow.

However Ukraine’s’ defences appear to be holding strong for now, with a mixture of professional, trained, and entirely civilian forces coming together to protect the capital. On Friday evening it was reported that Ukrainian forces had shot down a Russian Ilyushin II-76 near Vasylkiv to the south of Kyiv.

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