Updated Feb 25, 2022 - World

Zelensky: Russian "sabotage groups" have entered Kyiv

Photo of Volodymyr Zelensky speaking from a podium while gesturing with his hands in front of him
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a joint press conference with his counterparts from Lithuania and Poland following their talks in Kyiv on Feb. 23. Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday accused Russian forces of launching rocket attacks targeting civilian areas in Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine.

The latest: Zelensky said in a televised address that Russia's claim that it doesn't target civilians is "a lie," per a transcript. "They do not distinguish in which areas to operate," he added. "Russia's attack continues with the expectation that our forces will be tired. But no one is tired."

State of play: Zelensky said Thursday that Russian "enemy sabotage groups" have entered the country's capital Kyiv and marked him and his family as No. 1 and No. 2 targets, CNN reports.

  • He said he's remaining in government quarters in Kyiv but noted Russia's focus on taking him out, per CNN. The Russians "want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state," he added.
  • In a briefing later in the day, press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House was in touch with Zelensky and aware of where he is located.
  • "We're not going to get into security questions, but ... we are working to provide him a range of support," she said.

Meanwhile, Zelensky signed a decree Thursday ordering general mobilization in response to Russia's invasion. Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are temporarily barred from leaving the country during the period of martial law, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine announced.

  • Ukraine will call up conscripts and reservists across all regions, according to Zelensky's decree, which will remain in effect for 90 days.

The big picture: Ukraine’s Health Minister Viktor Lyashko said that as of Thursday evening, at least 57 Ukrainians have been killed and 169 more wounded, according to AP.

Go deeper: Russian invasion of Ukraine throws world into new era of upheaval

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of Zelensky's comments on Friday.

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