- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he has spoken to Boris Johnson on the phone and expressed gratitude for Britain’s support
- Russia’s advance has been “slowed” by strong Ukrainian resistance, according to the Ministry of Defence
- Putin’s forces are attempting to bypass cities while leaving columns to “encircle and isolate them”
- The capture of Kyiv remains Russia’s primary military objective, the MoD said
- The bulk of Russian forces are now just 30km from the centre of the city, according to the Ministry of Defence
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will leave a “permanent stain” on the reputation of President Vladimir Putin’s regime, Scotland’s external affairs secretary has said
- Britain has pledged to send more arms to the Ukrainian military as fighting reaches the capital Kyiv
- UK armed forces minister said Russian troops had not made the progress they might have hoped, with the main armoured columns still some way from the city
- Poland has refused to play next month’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine
- A total of 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed according to the country’s health minister Viktor Lyashko
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has shared a self-shot video walking around Kyiv following Friday night’s bombardment
- He denies he has told the army to lay down its arms and said that Ukraine would defend itself
- Demonstrators will gather in solidarity with the people of Ukraine outside the Scottish Parliament on Saturday afternoon
- Cabinet secretary for external affairs Angus Robertson MSP has written to the Russian Ambassador condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms”
- Sir Keir Starmer has called for the expulsion of Russia’s ambassador to the UK following the invasion
Russian forces are seeking to “encircle and isolate” Ukrainian cities after facing strong resistance against their invasion, according to the Ministry of Defence.
The MoD issued an intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine, saying Russian troops had continued their advance on the third day of the invasion and the capture of Kyiv remained their “primary military objective.”
The statement said overnight clashes in the city’s streets were likely to have involved pre-positioned Russian sabotage groups.
A Scottish man and his family have fled from the invasion into Poland along with more than 100,000 people as fighting broke out on the streets.
Earlier on Saturday, the MoD said the bulk of Russian forces were just 30km from the centre of the Ukrainian capital city.
“Russia has yet to gain control of the airspace over Ukraine, greatly reducing the effectiveness of the Russian Air Force,” a previous update said.
“Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to put up staunch resistance across the country.
“Russian casualties are likely to be heavy and greater than anticipated or acknowledged by the Kremlin.”
Britain has pledged to continue to supply arms to Ukraine’s embattled military as the fighting with Russian forces reached the outskirts of the capital.
James Heappey, the UK armed forces minister, said Russian troops had not made as much progress as they might have hoped following a night of explosions and gunfire.
He said main armoured columns remain some way from the city but that the capital’s defenders faced “days, weeks, months more” of heavy fighting.
Russia’s invasion has “no conceivable justification” and will leave a “permanent stain” on the reputation of President Vladimir Putin’s regime, Scotland’s external affairs secretary Angus Robertson said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Yesterday I urged NATO and Nordic partners to do all they can to support Ukraine and Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“I am pleased even more allies have come forward with defensive and humanitarian aid. We must stand with the Ukrainian people as they defend their country and democracies everywhere.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has shared a self-shot video walking around Kyiv following Friday night’s bombardment.
In a video posted on Twitter on Saturday morning he said to “not believe in any fake news, I am still here.”
He denied he had told the army to lay down its arms and said that Ukraine would defend itself.
“We will protect the country,” he said.
“Our weapon is our truth, and our truth is that it’s our land, our country, our children. And we will defend all of that.”
Later on Saturday night, Zelensky said he had spoken to Johnson on the phone and expressed gratitude for Britain’s support.
Zelensky tweeted: “Grateful to the British Prime Minister for his position, new decisions to enhance the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian army. Agreed on further joint steps to counter the aggressor.”
Downing Street said the leaders “agreed on the need for the international community to isolate Russia completely diplomatically and financially”.
In a statement, No 10 said: “The Prime Minister spoke to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy this evening.
“He paid tribute to the incredible heroism and bravery of President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people.
“The leaders agreed that President Putin is being met with a greater Ukrainian resistance than he calculated on.
“The Prime Minister updated on the UK’s support to Ukraine and the progress rallying international partners to hold Russia to account for their campaign of destruction.
“The leaders agreed on the need for the international community to isolate Russia completely diplomatically and financially. They welcomed the increased willingness to take action on excluding Russia from SWIFT.
“The Prime Minister and President Zelensky expressed their mutual concern about the role Belarus is playing as a conduit for President Putin’s violence.”
Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Saturday morning that Russian ground forces and missiles hit the city overnight, with a residential apartment being caught up in one of the attacks.
Poland has refused to play next month’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Russia over the invasion.
Polish Football Association president Cezary Kulesza said on Twitter on Saturday that Poland will boycott the match following Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine.
The Poles were due to face Russia in Moscow on March 24 in a play-off semi-final for the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Following protests in Edinburgh and Glasgow on Friday, demonstrators will gather in solidarity with the people of Ukraine outside the Scottish Parliament on Saturday.
Cabinet secretary for external affairs Angus Robertson MSP has written to the Russian Ambassador condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms”.
In the letter to Ambassador Kelin, Robertson called for an immediate end to the conflict and demanded that all Russian troops withdraw from the country immediately.
On Saturday night, Edinburgh Playhouse tweeted that it “stands firmly behind the people and nation of Ukraine at this time”.
Ambassador Theatre Group added: “Consequently, the decision has been taken to cancel the forthcoming visit of the Russian State Ballet Company of Siberia to our venues, Edinburgh Playhouse and Bristol Hippodrome, which were scheduled to take place between 3-5 March and 25-26 March respectively.
“We hope for a swift return to peace and stability in the region.”
A former spokesman for Putin has claimed that Zelensky wants to provoke the Russian army into killing citizens to get Nato to react.
Sergei Markov, who is now deputy chairman of the Russian Public Forum on International Affairs, told Times Radio on Saturday: “He wants to provoke Russian army to use artillery for the big damages of the Ukrainian citizens.”
Asked if he was suggesting that President Zelensky wants the Russian army to kill Ukrainian citizens, Mr Markov said: “Exactly. It is his main political (aim) too.”
He added: “That’s the major goal now – to invoke Nato to stop Russian army.”
Mr Markov also said: “Russian army doesn’t want to kill Ukrainian soldiers.”
The UK’s armed forces minister James Heappey said Putin had gone “all in” on the invasion and warned of more “utterly brutal fighting” ahead.
“I think there is a fanaticism and a fervour in his language that is very concerning. He has gone all in on this,” he told BBC Breakfast.
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