| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Ukraine’s president vows to stay put as Russian invaders approach

On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy promised to stay in Kyiv as his army fought Russian invaders marching near the city in the worst offensive on a European country since WWII.

Following President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of war, Russia began an invasion by land, air, and sea on Thursday. As explosions and gunfire shook major cities, an estimated 100,000 people fled. Hundreds of people have been slain, according to reports.

According to US and Ukrainian officials, Russia is attempting to seize Kyiv and destabilize the administration, which Putin perceives as a puppet of the US. As they pushed along the quickest route from Belarus to Kyiv, Russian soldiers captured the Chernobyl former nuclear power facility north of Kyiv.

As intense combat was reported on numerous fronts, Zelenskiy stated in a video message, “(the) enemy has put me down as the number one target.” “My family is the second-most-wanted target. They seek to destabilize Ukraine politically by assassinating the president.”

“I intend to remain in the capital. My family has also relocated to Ukraine.”

Putin claims that Russia is conducting “a special military operation” to prevent the Ukrainian government from committing genocide against its own people, a charge that the West dismisses. He also claims that Ukraine is an illegal state whose territory is traditionally Russian.

“To the best of my knowledge, President Zelenskiy remains in Ukraine at his job,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS. “Of course, we’re concerned for the safety of all of our friends in Ukraine – government officials and others.”

Ukraine, a democratic nation of 44 million people, declared independence when the Soviet Union fell apart, and has recently ramped up attempts to join NATO and the European Union, objectives that enrage Moscow.

On top of sanctions imposed earlier this week, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the European Union imposed new ones on Moscow, including Germany’s decision to block a $11 billion gas pipeline from Russia.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy leader, called the bloc’s actions “the strongest package of penalties we have ever undertaken.”

China has been chastised for refusing to term Russia’s invasion an invasion.

“Any nation that countsenances Russia’s brazen aggression against Ukraine will be tainted by association,” stated US President Joe Biden addressing reporters at the White House. He remained tight-lipped on China’s position.

Russia is one of the world’s largest energy producers, and it, along with Ukraine, is a major grain exporter. Sanctions and war will wreak havoc on economies all around the world.

Oil prices jumped as much as $2 per barrel on Friday as investors anticipated the impact of trade penalties against Russia, the world’s largest oil supplier.

On worries of grain supply interruptions from the important Black Sea area, U.S. wheat futures touched their highest level in nearly 14 years, corn stayed at an eight-month high, and soybeans rallied.

Airlines were also affected, with Japan Airlines canceling a trip to Moscow on Thursday evening and Britain restricting its airspace to Russian airlines.


According to Zelenskiy, 137 soldiers and civilians were killed in the conflict, with hundreds more injured. At least 70 people were murdered, according to Ukrainian officials.

According to Anton Herashchenko, an assistant to the interior minister, Ukrainian troops shot down an aircraft above Kyiv early Friday, which subsequently fell into a residential structure and caught fire. It wasn’t obvious whether the plane was manned.

According to the border guard agency, a missile hit a Ukrainian border post in the southern district of Zaporizhzhya, killing and wounded three guards.

The US and other NATO nations have given military supplies to Ukraine, but no soldiers have been dispatched for fear of igniting a larger European conflict.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, called for “additional armaments to continue fighting… the quantity of tanks, armored vehicles, planes, and helicopters that Russia hurled onto Ukraine is incomprehensible.”

Chernobyl, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Kyiv, was taken over by unidentified troops who disarmed a Ukrainian military unit defending the power plant, according to Ukraine’s official nuclear regulator.

There had been no injuries, nothing had been damaged, and radiation levels had remained steady, according to the report. It notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that control of the plant had been lost.

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council will vote on a draft resolution condemning Russia’s incursion and demanding Moscow’s quick departure.
Moscow, on the other hand, has the ability to reject the proposal, and it was uncertain how China would respond.

  • Reuters