Russian strike forces came within minutes of capturing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the early hours of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Time.
The troops parachuted into Kyiv on Feb. 24 and tried to storm the presidential compound twice while Zelenskyy’s wife and two kids were inside, an adviser to Zelenskyy told Time.
“Before that night, we had only ever seen such things in the movies,” said Andriy Yermak, the president’s chief of staff.
Zelenskyy told Time he and his wife, Olena, told their children that bombing had started and that they needed to evacuate.
“We woke them up,” Zelenskyy told Time’s Simon Shuster, who spent two weeks in the presidential compound this month. “It was loud. There were explosions over there.”
Then gunfights broke out in the government quarter and security shut the lights out in the compound. Zelenskyy and his squad were given bulletproof vests and assault rifles.
Their gunfire was audible inside Zelenskyy’s office walls, according to the report.
Ukraine’s military was able to fend off the attack, and Russian forces withdrew its forces from Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv, choosing instead to focus on the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
The report came a day after Moscow’s forces launched a missile attack on a residential high-rise and another building in Kyiv, shattering weeks of relative calm in the capital after Russia’s retreat from the region early this month.
Ten people were wounded, one losing a leg, authorities said.
The missile strike came barely an hour after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a news conference with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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