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Many expected Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine, to fall into Russian control overnight. Putin’s army encircled the city throughout the day on Friday, with explosions and gunfire echoing throughout neighborhoods.
All conventional wisdom, including US Intelligence and Ukraine’s Government, believed Kyiv would be lost. The size and might of the Russian military would, undoubtedly, overwhelm Ukrainian forces.
That conventional wisdom, however, did not account for the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people.
As the sun rose in Kyiv on Saturday morning, the city was still standing.
Ukrainian people protect Kyiv continue pushing against Russian invasion
“Good morning from Kyiv,” journalist Terrell Jermaine Starr wrote on Twitter. “We’re still here.”
Starr’s Tweet included a video of a sunrise over central Kyiv. There were no explosions or gunfire in the background, only the sound of birds chirping in the quiet air.
Another Tweet from Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba spoke about the citizen-led resistance overnight.
“Sun is up in Kyiv,” the tweet begins. “The shooting in my neighborhood stopped. I can hear birds. Feels like an end of a vampire movie. Something tells me this night was important. And the enemy will remember this night too.”
Posts on social media show women and men on the front lines in Ukraine taking drastic measures to halt the Russian invasion.
One video on Twitter shows residents literally placing their bodies in front of Russian tanks to slow their advance into the country.
According to Scherba and others, more than 3,000 Russian troops have been killed and hundreds more have been captured. If accurate, the losses are far more significant that Putin or his advisors ever expected.
Throughout the country, citizens are willingly taking up arms to defend their nation. Trey Yingst, a reporter stationed near a police station in Kyiv, noted “the line of people waiting to get inside and get weapons was around the block.”
Ukrainian mother pleads for intervention from an underground shelter
Olena Gnes, a Ukrainian mother, has been taking to social media to plead for intervention from the West. She spoke with Fox News on Saturday morning while holding her three young children in an underground bomb shelter.
“They will not control us. Ukrainians will not surrender,” said Olena Gnes in an interview via FaceTime.
Gnes said she understands many nations are leaning on diplomacy but urges leaders not to trust Russia.
“They don’t understand diplomacy. They will try to kill us. I beg of you, please don’t let this happen. Please intervene and do something with force. I am asking for military intervention.”
Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked Gnes if she had any message for President Biden.
“Mr President Biden,” the young mother said, looking directly into the camera, “if you stop Russian aggression, if you stop aggression of Vladimir Putin… you will be the best man in the world.”
“You will be the man who prevented the collapse of democracy and the collapse of humanity in the world.”
“I want to say that I want a happy end in this story,” she said, “and it can still happen.”
Republicans and Democrats both are wary of the notion of sending American troops into Ukraine.
President Biden on Saturday approved an additional $350 million in military aid for Ukraine. Reports indicate the White House also wants Congress to approve an additional $6.4 billion in aid to the country.