Ukraine’s senior defense official says Russian troops moving toward Kiev

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar has said Russian troops were fast heading toward the centre of Kiev, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for negotiations with Russia over ending the military operation.

“The Russian military seized two vehicles of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, changed into the uniform of the Ukrainian military and are moving at high speed towards the centre of Kiev,” Ukraine’s government-run news agency Ukrinform quoted Maliar’s post on Facebook as saying.

In a video message on Friday, Zelensky urged Russia to stop its military operation in his country and negotiate with Ukraine over how to end the conflict, according to a statement released by the Presidential Office of Ukraine.

“Did Thursday’s sanctions convince Russia? We hear in our sky and see on our earth that this is not enough,” he added, referring to the additional sanctions against Russia announced by the US and its allies.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised “a special military operation” in Donbas, and Ukraine confirmed that military installations across the country were under attack, Xinhua news agency reported.

At least 137 Ukrainians have been killed and more than 300 injured in the military operation, Zelensky said earlier on Friday.

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