Overnight Russian attacks on Ukraine's capital

Volodymyr Zelenskyy the Ukrainian President, stated that he would remain in Kyiv and warned of a "full-scale storm" by Russian troops.

Overnight Russian attacks on Ukraine's capital

After a night of attacks against cities, including Kyiv's, the capital remained in Ukrainian control until Saturday morning.

As Russian troops advanced, the city was ready for battle. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had made a desperate appeal for help.

Zelenskyy stated that the fate of Ukraine was being decided right now in a speech on social media. "Special attention is paid to Kyiv -- it is important that we do not lose the capital. To break our resistance, the enemy will use every force they can. They will be hard and mean. They will unleash a storm tonight."

As the international backlash against the unprovoked attack of a European democracy mounted, Russian troops pounded the city.

On Friday, the air was filled with explosions, sirens sounding like air raid sirens, and gunfire. Officials in Kyiv advised citizens to seek shelter as street fighting was taking place. Overnight explosions were heard and footage showed fighting near Kyiv Zoo.

Zelenskyy uploaded a video of himself standing in front a building near the presidential office in Kyiv. He said, "I'm there."

Zelenskyy said that false claims of an evacuation were made. According to an NBC News translation, he stated that "We won’t put down [our] weapons, we’ll protect our country."

Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv Mayor, said Saturday that Russian troops tried to enter the city but were defeated. However other sabotage groups and reconnaissance groups were still inside.

Klitschko stated that "The night was difficult" but that there were no Russian troops in the capital. According to NBC News translation, Klitschko made this statement in a Telegram message Saturday morning. "The enemy is trying break into the city."

He stated that 35 people were injured as of 6 AM, including two children.

The Washington Post reported that Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, stated Friday that no strikes were being made against civilian infrastructure. The Russian Ministry of Defence stated Friday that it is doing everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.

Dmytro Kuleba (Ukraine's foreign minister) tweeted Saturday morning that Kyiv had "survived another evening under attacks by Russian ground force, missiles", and one of those missiles hit a residential apartment. NBC News has not independently confirmed this allegation.

Photographs of the building show extensive damage to floors, with windows and walls blown out and a fire raging inside. According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the fire was put out and the building was being evacuated.

Early Saturday, information on injuries was not available immediately.

In a Facebook post, the Ukrainian military stated that Russian troops had attacked an army base near Kyiv on Saturday at midnight. However, they were defeated. According to the military, there were also "heavy battles” in Vasylkiv (a nearby city). NBC News could not independently verify the accounts of the Ukrainian military.

Vasylkiv's mayor claimed that Russian paratroopers had landed, but were defeated. NBC News has not independently confirmed this claim.

Fighting is ongoing in the outskirts and coastal cities of Mariupol. However, Mykhailo podoliak, presidential advisor, said that the situation was under control.

"We knew tonight was going be a difficult evening," Podoliak stated, adding that Russian attempts at harming Ukrainian cities "didn’t work."

The United States and the European Union made a rare move to impose sanctions against a head state, by targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Biden administration also placed sanctions on Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister, and other members Russia's Security Council.

The White House stated that Zelenskyy spoke with President Joe Biden for approximately 40 minutes on Friday. The leader of Ukraine tweeted that they had discussed strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance, and a coalition against war.

A U.N. Security Council resolution calling for Russia's military aggression to be condemned was rejected by Russia. The resolution was approved by the council 11-1 on Friday. Russia was the only vote against it. Three countries abstained.

Putin suggested that he may be open to negotiations with Ukraine, even though his forces were advancing across the country. The Russian leader urged Ukrainian soldiers not to surrender to the government hours later. He described it as a "gang drug addicts-neo-Nazis", repeating propaganda Russia uses in justifying its actions.

The United States and the European Union made a rare move to impose sanctions against a head state, by targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Biden administration also placed sanctions on Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister, and other members Russia's Security Council.

The White House stated that Zelenskyy spoke with President Joe Biden for approximately 40 minutes on Friday. The leader of Ukraine tweeted that they had discussed strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance, and a coalition against war.

A U.N. Security Council resolution calling for Russia's military aggression to be condemned was rejected by Russia. The resolution was approved by the council 11-1 on Friday. Russia was the only vote against it. Three countries abstained.

Putin suggested that he may be open to negotiations with Ukraine, even though his forces were advancing across the country. The Russian leader urged Ukrainian soldiers not to surrender to the government hours later. He described it as a "gang drug addicts-neo-Nazis", repeating the propaganda Russia uses to justify their actions.

Zelenskyy, who was trapped in the capital of war, refused to leave but instead appealed to Western governments for tougher sanctions against Moscow.

Zelenskyy has already called any Ukrainians who are willing to fight, and handed out thousands to civilians. Zelenskyy also encouraged anyone with European military experience to visit Ukraine to help protect its independence and protest.

In his latest video message, he stated that "We are defending independence, our nation." It will continue as this. Glory to our defenders and glory to Ukraine

As the invading Russian forces pounded on Kyiv, the leader of Ukraine made a new plea. During the desperate defense, hundreds of troops from both sides were killed.

Oksana Markarova (the Ukrainian ambassador to America) stated at a press conference that Russia had committed war crimes. She claimed that Russia took nearly 100 people hostage at Chernobyl, and struck an orphanage with 50 children.

"The Russian propaganda machine claims that civilians weren't targeted. Markarova said to reporters that this was not true.

Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv Mayor, described Russia's offensive with stark words.

Klitschko, who was a former world heavyweight boxing champion, said that "The enemy wants the capital to be on its knees" and would destroy them. The city is now in a defensive phase. Some neighborhoods are hearing shots and explosions. "Saboteurs" have already entered Kyiv.

A senior U.S. defense official stated Friday that Russia still faces " greater resistance” from the Ukrainians than expected.

The official stated that they were fighting for their country, referring to the Ukrainian troops and freedom fighters.

According to the official, Russian forces are waging an amphibious attack on the west side of Mariupol. There are indications that the United States is having thousands of naval troops ashore in the area. The official said that American officials believe Russian troops will move towards the Donbas region.

Residents in Obolon, north of the capital were warned by local officials not to leave their homes early Friday because of "the approaching of active hostilities." According to the military, Russian saboteurs were hiding in Ukrainian uniforms and were on the streets.

Russia claimed that it had taken control over the Hostomel Airport in the capital. This airport handles heavy cargo flights, and Moscow would be able to fly troops to Kyiv. The Ukrainian military stated that Russian troops suffered heavy casualties during the fighting.

NBC News has not verified the reports of either side.

Local officials claimed that Russia had taken Kherson, the southernmost city, despite it having suffered "great losses."

Matt Bradley, NBC News correspondent, reported Friday afternoon that cars alarms rang across Kharkiv as the loud, sustained bombardments grew closer.

"We had believed that Russian troops were stationed around the city's ring road. "Now we understand that they are moving in," he stated from underground parking garage, surrounded by journalists and residents, including children.

Day 2 of Putin’s attack on Ukraine saw airstrikes, ground battles and mass casualties in cities across the country. It also threatened economic chaos and Europe’s gravest security crisis in decades.

Zelenskyy claimed that Russia was targeting civilians in residential areas. This is something Moscow denies, even though it said so as recently as Tuesday.

The leader of Ukraine claimed Thursday that Russia was his "No. The "No. 1 target" -- supporting Western intelligence that Russia plans to decapitate his Western-leaning government, and replace it with one closer to Moscow.

Although the United Nations confirmed at least 25 deaths in Ukraine, it acknowledged these numbers were likely underestimated. It also suggested that up to 4,000,000 could flee if fighting escalates.

Kuleba (Ukraine's foreign minister) accused Russia of attacking a Ukrainian orphanage and kindergarten in what he called "war crimes." NBC News could not verify the claims.

Karim Khan, a prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, stated that he was following the conflict with "increasing worry" and that his office might investigate any war crimes in the country.

Amnesty International condemned Putin’s offensive and urged Russian troops to stop "immediately carrying out indiscriminate attack in violation of the laws war."

Zelenskyy stated in a statement that at most 137 people were killed and 316 were injured during the initial day of the invasion. The Ukrainian government claimed Saturday that Russia had lost up to 3,000 personnel, more then a dozen aircraft, and 102 tanks.

NBC News has not confirmed that there have been any deaths or injuries on either side.

Reports of civilian casualties prompted international condemnation of Russia to grow louder Friday.

NATO leaders called the attack "brutal, wholly unprovoked, and unjustified" in a news release that said Russia was "full responsible for this conflict and would "pay a severe economic and political price for many years to come."

They said that they had also drawn up defense plans, "deployed defensive land- and airforces in the eastern part" of the Alliance, as well as maritime assets throughout the NATO area.

Pope Francis visited the Russian Embassy in Rome to express his concern about the invasion. Matteo Bruni, a Vatican spokesperson, said that this was a remarkable departure from diplomatic protocol.

The government of Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic that was one of Russia's closest allies and allies, denied Moscow's request for Kazakh troops to join Russian forces fighting in Ukraine. It said that it would not recognize both the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic -- two Moscow-backed separatist regions in Ukraine, which Putin officially recognized earlier this week.

The Kremlin sent mixed messages against this background of increasing global pressure.

Putin spokeswoman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow was open to discussing Ukraine's earlier offer to talk about realigning it so it has a "neutral status" with Russia and the West.

Putin spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone on Friday. The Kremlin stated in a readout, that Putin was willing to send a delegation down to Minsk to negotiate with Ukrainian representatives.

However, Putin called on the Ukrainian military to "take control in your own hands" during a televised meeting his Security Council. This was because Russia would find it easier to negotiate with the army than with Zelenskyy.

Lavrov suggested earlier that Moscow would only be open to talks if Ukraine has surrendered its weapons.

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