Russia intensified its assault around Ukraine’s capital Saturday, while continuing to bombard cities already under siege across the country and issuing new threats against the West.
Fighting raged and missile strikes hit outside Kyiv, with Russian forces appearing to make fresh progress in their slow advance on the capital.
As the shelling continued, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he’s open for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Israel, but only if there is a cease-fire in place.
Zelenskyy said Saturday he told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that he would be ready to meet Putin in Jerusalem. Bennett visited Moscow for a meeting with Putin and spoke repeatedly with Zelenskyy and the leaders of France and Germany as he sought to help mediate an end to the war.
Zelenskyy said Bennett informed him about his talks with Putin, adding that he can’t share details.
Putin has ignored numerous previous offers of talks from Zelenskyy.
Speaking at a news conference, Zelenskyy said the Russians could take the Ukrainian capital “only if they kill us all.”
Earlier Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden authorized the State Department to provide an additional $200 million in military assistance to Ukraine to aid in its defense against invading troops. The package brings the total U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to more than $1.2 billion, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.