Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed on Friday, to stay in Kyiv as his troops battled Russian invaders advancing toward the capital in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.
Russia launched its invasion by land, air and sea on Thursday, following a declaration of war by President Vladimir Putin.
An estimated 100,000 people fled as explosions and gunfire rocked major cities.
Zelenskyy said 137 people were killed on the first day of the attack.
The United States and Ukrainian officials say Russia aims to capture Kyiv and topple the government, which Putin regards as a US puppet.
Russian troops seized the former nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, some 90 km (56 miles) north of Kyiv, as they advanced along the shortest route to the capital from Belarus to the north.
“The enemy has marked me down as the number one target,” Zelenskyy warned.
“My family is the number two target.
They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.
“I will stay in the capital.
My family is also in Ukraine.
Putin says Russia is carrying out a special military operation to stop the Ukrainian government from committing genocide against its own people, an accusation the West calls baseless.
He also says Ukraine is an illegitimate state whose lands historically belong to Russia.
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Ukraine leader pledges to stay put as Russia troops approach Kyiv