Ukraine has blamed Russian forces for attacking civilians fleeing the war-torn region, killing seven civilians, including women and children.
According to media reports, Ukraine’s intelligence service said the attack on civilians took place on Friday as they were trying to flee a village near the capital, Kyiv.
Ukrainian government officials later confirmed that the convoy was not passing through a “green corridor” with Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message on Saturday that “we must continue fighting.”
He said Russia was sending more troops after Ukraine defeated 31 Russian military tactical groups.
Earlier, Ukraine’s president said about 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the three-week-old war, and urged Western nations to join peace talks.
He added that if the Russian army tried to enter the capital, Kyiv, they would fight to the death.
The German chancellor and the French president also called on President Vladimir Putin to declare a ceasefire, but a French official said in a 75-minute conversation that President Putin had not hinted at an end to the war.
On the other hand, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has blamed the United States for the escalating tensions, saying that the supply of weapons to Ukraine by Western countries has also complicated the situation, which Russia considers justified.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he has also discussed the possibility of peace talks with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, but diplomatic efforts so far have not yielded significant results.
The British Ministry of Defense said in a recent statement that fighting was continuing in the northwest of the Ukrainian capital, while the Russian military was located 25 kilometers from Kiev, which could attack Kyiv in a few days.
According to the British Ministry of Defense, heavy shelling by the Russian army continues on four Ukrainian cities Kharkiv, Chernihev, Somi and Mariupol. However, the Ukrainian army’s general staff said on Saturday that Russia’s attacks had decreased and that most locations had stopped.
Thousands of civilians are stranded in war-torn cities, while 2.5 million have fled to neighboring countries.