Viktor Liashko, head of the Ukrainian health ministry, says 198 civilians have been killed in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
The minister said on Saturday three children were among of those who died — according to Ukrinform, the country’s news agency.
He said 1,115 people were wounded, including 33 children.
“According to operational data, we have 198 dead at the hands of the gunpowder, including 3 children, 1,115 injured, 33 of which were children,” he said.
“Military defend the country with weapons in their hands, weapons of doctors are selfless labor. No one has been home for three days, and it won’t be soon. But we are ready and giving away. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the ZSU.”
What was initially diplomatic tension between the two countries escalated when Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, announced the start of a special military operation in Donbas on Thursday.
Russian troops pressed towards Ukraine’s capital on Saturday — after a night of explosions and street fighting sent Kyiv residents seeking shelter underground, and some piling up at borders to escape the war.
Even though Russia claims its attack on Ukraine targets only soldiers, civilians have been killed.
In a video on social media, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said all 27 European leaders he asked for help refused to fight with Ukraine.
But Zelenskyy had earlier refused an offer from the US government to evacuate, insisting he would stay.
“The fight is here,” Zelenskyy said.
Martial law has been imposed throughout Ukraine, with Zelenskyy signing a decree on general mobilisation.
“We’ll give weapons to anyone ready to defend the country,” he said.
Ukraine may be the underdog, but there seems to be some hope for the county, at least for its population.
In a Facebook post tagged ‘The Face of War,’ Liashko said while the country is under shelling and explosions, they have also recorded the births of two new Ukrainians
“Yesterday, two boys were born in a maternity hospital set up in a bomb shelter in Kherson city. Two new lives that already have War in their genetic code. We and they will never forget and will never forgive,” he said.
“Life goes on, we give birth to children, and no one can beat us.”