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Tipsheet

'Let Them Come': Ukrainian President Sends Yet Another Defiant Message to Russia

Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave another defiant message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday as the Russian war on Ukraine continues, with the Pentagon warning earlier this week that Russia has begun to make greater advances on Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv.

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Zelenskyy said in a news address that Russia will have to "carpet-bomb" Kyiv and kill its residents in order to take the city.

He said Russian forces would only be able to enter the capital city if they took out "the historic memory of the entire region, the history of Kyivan Rus, the history of Europe."

"If that is their goal, let them come," the Ukrainian president told reporters at a news conference in Kyiv.

Zelenskyy has been praised as a hero by world leaders for his refusal to leave the capital city as war wages on.

He said just days after the Russian invasion began that he had declined an offer from the U.S. to evacuate him to safety.

"The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride," Zelenskyy said at the time.

In another instance soon after Russia began its invasion, the Ukrainian president said in a video addressing the nation, "I'm here. We won't lay down our arms. We will defend our country."

And earlier this week, Zelenskyy disclosed his location in Kyiv and said he would not be leaving the city.

"On Bankova Street," he said. "Not hiding, and I'm not afraid of anyone." Bankova Street is where the presidential offices are located.

Zelenskyy defiantly pointed his camera out the window to show the Gorodetsky House, which is located across the street from his offices, and to show that it was nighttime in Kyiv.

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He said at the time that he would be "staying in Kyiv" despite Russia's continued attacks on the city.

The Department of Defense has warned since the start of the invasion that Russia will likely try to encircle Kyiv to overthrow the government and replace it with a "puppet regime."

This possibility is becoming increasingly likely as Russian forces on Friday advanced from the east toward Kyiv. Meanwhile, forces to the north and northwest of the city appear stalled about 10 miles away.

Ukrainian parliament member Inna Sovsun said Saturday morning that Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov was captured by the Russians and is being tortured. 

"Now we have information that he is being tortured. That is another level of evil. Putin is a terrorist, this is a terrorist state we're talking about," she told Fox News' Neil Cavuto.

Zelenskyy has pleaded with France, Germany and others to help free the captured mayor.

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