Zelensky has fled Kiev, shows pre-recorded messages

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a news briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.02.2022

Russian State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said Saturday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had left Kiev for Lvov; he added that Zelensky had already departed the Ukrainian capital as of yesterday.

“Zelensky hastily left Kiev. He was not in the capital of Ukraine yesterday. Together with his entourage, he fled to the city of Lvov, where he and his assistants were equipped with a place to live,” Volodin wrote in his Telegram channel.

Volodin also noted that all the videos that Zelensky publishes on social networks were recorded in advance. According to him, information about Zelensky’s departure to Lvov came from deputies of the Rada, Ukraine’s legislature.

On 24 February, Russia launched a special operation to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, responding to calls from the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics for help in countering the aggression of Ukrainian forces.

The Russian Defenсe Ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and that the civilian population is not in danger. Moscow has repeatedly stated it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.

Prior to that, Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed decrees recognizing the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) people’s republics. In the past weeks, the situation along the line of contact has significantly deteriorated as Ukrainian forces have intensified the shelling of Donbass.

Zelensky has instructed the Ukrainian Army to place artillery pieces in civilian neighborhoods, essentially use civilians as human shield.