Defiant Zelensky vows 'I'm here' after Russian attack

Remote video URL

KYIV (AFP) - After Ukrainian forces said they had repulsed a Russian attack on their capital on Saturday (Feb 26), President Volodymyr Zelensky shot a selfie-style video to vow to stay and fight on.

"I am here. We will not lay down any weapons. We will defend our state, because our weapons are our truth," he declared, denouncing as disinformation claims that he had surrendered or fled.

"A lot of fake information has appeared on the Internet saying that I allegedly called on our army to lay down its arms and that evacuation is under way," he said outside his office.

Wearing olive green military-style clothing and looking tired but determined, he declared: "Our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children and we will protect all of this.

"This is what I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine!"

As the video hit social media platforms, the sounds of explosions and air raid sirens could still be heard around the capital, as the Russian military declared it had fired air- and sea-based cruise missiles at Ukrainian military targets.

Mr Zelensky added that "partners" were sending weapons to help Kyiv fight Russian troops. He said he had spoken by phone with French leader Emmanuel Macron.

"A new day on the diplomatic frontline began with a conversation with Emmanuel Macron," Mr Zelensky tweeted. "Weapons and equipment from our partners are on the way to Ukraine. The anti-war coalition is working!"

Get live updates as the Ukraine crisis unfolds.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.