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Ukrainian soldiers take positions outside a military facility as two cars burn in a street in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday.
Emilio Morenatti
Ukrainian soldiers take positions outside a military facility as two cars burn in a street in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday.

Updated February 26, 2022 at 9:39 AM ET

Fierce street fighting is being reported in Kyiv as Ukrainian troops defend the capital city against the ongoing Russian invasion. Air raid sirens blared throughout the night as the city was hit by missiles and rockets. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging Ukrainian citizens to stay inside, take cover and "stand firm."

Zelenskyy has released two videos in the last few hours, cautioning that he and his family are top targets and disputing what he says is disinformation being spread that he has called on his army to surrender.

"We have withstood and successful repelled enemy attacks," Zelensky said in a video message, according to a BBC translation. "The fighting continues in many cities and districts of our state. We are defending our country, the land of our future children.

"Kyiv and key cities around the capital are controlled by our army," he said. "The occupiers wanted to block the center of our state and put their puppets here, as in Donetsk. We broke their plan."

Daily life in Ukraine has been upended since the invasion began Thursday. Schools are suspended; many families are hunkered down at home, but many are also trying to flee the country, jamming highways. Satellite imagery shows a 4-mile-long traffic jam of people, cars and trucks trying to cross into Romania near the Siret border crossing.

The United Nations says nearly 120,000 people have fled to neighboring countries in recent days. Most of those leaving are women and children; men ages 18 to 60 aren't permitted to cross the border, since they may be drafted into the fight.

The White House announced Friday that it would join European allies in sanctioning Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The sanctions will include a travel ban.

Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution on Friday calling on Moscow to end its invasion. President Biden was set to meet with his national security team Saturday to discuss the latest developments.
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Schwartz worked as a reporter for Washington, DC, member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Schwartz worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Schwartz was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").