Zelenski does not give up
Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky denied a possible evacuation, in which the US offered to help, and that he has ordered the army to lay down its arms in the face of the advancing Russian offensive on the capital. “Now a lot of false information has appeared on the net that I have ordered to lay down arms and that an evacuation is taking place. I am here and we are not laying down any weapons,” Zelenski said in a video address.
Ukraine on Friday denied through the Ukrainian leader’s spokesman, Volodimir Zelenski, that it had refused to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia in the face of Moscow’s readiness to send a high-level delegation to the Belarusian capital. “I have to deny the claims that we refused to negotiate. Ukraine was and remains ready to talk about ceasefire and peace. This is our constant position,” the Ukrainian leader’s spokesman Sergii Nikiforov said on his official Facebook profile, adding that “the parties are consulting “the place and time of the negotiation process.” “The sooner the negotiations start, the more chances there will be to restore normal life,” the spokesman has stressed in the same message.
Russia vetoes UN condemnation
Russia has exercised this Friday its veto power to block the resolution in the United Nations Security Council raised by the United States to condemn the Russian attack against Ukraine and demand the immediate withdrawal of troops on Ukrainian soil. According to the U.S. network CNN, the vote had 11 votes in favor, one against and three abstentions. China, which has refused to criticize the attack – however, it calls for a negotiated solution to the conflict – was one of the three abstentions, together with India and the United Arab Emirates.
Anti-war protests in Russia
Police in Russia detained at least 572 people Friday at demonstrations in 28 cities across the country against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to data collected by civil rights group OVD-Info on the second day of protests. The city with the highest number of arrests was the Russian capital, Moscow, with 249 people, followed closely by St. Petersburg, with 239 detainees. OVD-Indo lawyers have been able to provide legal assistance to some of the detainees, the organization said.
Help from Poland
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has confirmed that a convoy with ammunition for “strictly defensive” use has arrived in Ukraine with the aim of providing military aid to the country. “The convoy with the ammunition we delivered to Ukraine has already reached our neighbors. We support Ukrainians, we stand in solidarity and strongly oppose Russian aggression,” Blaszczak explained on his Twitter account, although without detailing what kind of ammunition it is.
U.S. ready to evacuate Zelenski
The United States has assured this Saturday that it is ready to help the president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, to leave Kiev to avoid being captured or killed by the advance of Russian forces, according to government sources.