‘I cannot abandon my people’: Ukraine leader Zelensky refuses evacuation offer

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By Gracious Zinazi

As men between the ages of 18-60 are prohibited from leaving Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has turned down an offer from the United States to evacuate him from the capital city Kyiv.

US media reports indicate that the US government is prepared to evacuate the Ukrainian leader out of Kyiv to avoid being captured or killed by advancing Russian forces,

But Zelensky, whose government restricted male citizens of Ukraine aged from 18 to 60 years from departing Ukraine, has turned down the offer.

“The fight is here, I need an ammunition, not a ride. I might be killed but I can’t abandon my people when my country is going through its darkest hour, when you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs,” said Zelensky.

Zelensky, 44, is still in Ukraine’s capital and he revealed o Friday that he is staying in the government quarters together with others.

His refusal to be evacuated comes despite his own admission that he is Russia’s number one target.

“According to our information, the enemy marked me as target №1, my family – as target №2,” Zelensky said on Thursday.

“They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state. We have information that enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv.”

Russia launched its attack on Ukraine last week. Reports indicate that 198 people have been killed so far and over 1000 have sustained injuries.