Russia said it has given orders to its army “to broaden its offensive” against its neighbor “from all directions” after Ukraine refused to hold talks in Belarus.
Russia’s defense ministry in a statement on Saturday, said, “After the Ukrainian side rejected the negotiation process, today all units were given orders to develop the advance from all directions in accordance with the operation’s plans.”
According to Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik, President Vladimir Putin had ordered a temporary halt to the Russian military operation in Ukraine on Friday afternoon in connection with the expectation of negotiations with Kyiv, but the operation was resumed Saturday afternoon after the Ukrainian leadership refused to talk.
The advancement came even as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the nation’s powers had rebuffed the Russian attack and promised to keep up the battle as he pursued additional external assistance.
“The real fighting for Kyiv is ongoing,” Zelenskyy said in a video message in which he accused Russia of hitting infrastructure and civilian targets. “We will win,” he said.
Hours ago, Ukraine denied suggestions that it was refusing to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia but said it was also not ready to accept ultimatums or unacceptable conditions.