President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine in a video on Thursday said 137 civilians and military personnel have been killed in the country on the first day of Russian invasion with 316 wounded, Al Jazeera reported.
He described the victims as “heroes.”
“They’re killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets. It’s foul and will never be forgiven,” he said, referring to Russian forces.
The numbers are expected to rise following recent strikes, including reported strikes in Kyiv Friday morning.
President Zelenskyy also said that Russia had named him “target number one,” and “my family is the number two target. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state. I will stay in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine.”
He also voiced frustration with the outcome of discussions that he said he had with the heads of NATO member states.
“We have been left alone to defend our state,” Mr Zelenskiy said. “Who is ready to fight alongside us? I don’t see anyone. Who is ready to give Ukraine a guarantee of NATO membership? Everyone is afraid.”
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, over 100,000 Ukrainians have moved out of their homes in search of safety and few thousands have crossed over into Moldova, Romania and other countries.
“We have preparedness plans everywhere, together with respective governments,” Mr Grandi said.
“With the death toll rising, we are seeing images of fear, anguish and terror in every corner of Ukraine. The protection of civilians must be priority number one. International humanitarian and human rights law must be upheld,” Antonio Guterres, UN chief, tweeted.
Russia in a ‘special military operation’ attacked Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday through different flanks; including Crimea and Russia.
Despite numerous sanctions from world leaders and organisations, President Vladimir Putin of Russia said he remains undeterred in his mission to ‘denazify’ Ukraine.