Inside The Ukrainian President's Decision To Refuse American-Offered Evacuation

After weeks of massing troops and machinery on the Ukrainian border, Russia invaded their neighboring country in what's being called an unprovoked act of war. Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny this is an act of war, saying instead that this is a "special military operation" with the goal of "peacekeeping," per People.

The invasion wasn't a surprise to anyone. In January, the CIA director William Burns went to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about the impending threat from neighboring Russia, The Washington Post reports. According to The Washington Post, the intelligence at the time of the CIA director's visit was that there were already "Russian hit teams" inside Kyiv, whose main objective would be to eliminate President Zelenskyy and his family.

Burns' visit to Ukraine was also at the same time the British government was accusing the Kremlin of plotting to replace the Ukrainian President with a "pro-Russian politician." However, President Zelenskyy was reported to be dismissive of the idea the Russians would try to kill him at the time.

In the early hours of February 24, 2022, Russia finally crossed into Ukrainian territory by land, air, and sea. Since the battle for Ukraine has begun, Russian forces have pushed deep into Ukraine, with the goal believed to be to behead the Ukrainian government by taking its capital, Kyiv, per Axios. If Russia takes Kyiv, Axios reports the Pentagon believes Russia would install a new pro-Russia government which the Kremlin would be able to control.

This is what President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the U.S. when they offered to help evaluate him

The fighting in Ukraine has continued for three days, with the bulk of the fighting focused now in Kyiv, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been since the invasion began. Often addressing his people from videos he's making himself from a cell phone, the Ukrainian president has made one thing clear: He is in Kyiv fighting with and for his people and his country.

One of Zelenskyy's videos Saturday morning came after widespread rumors of his having left Kyiv and that Ukrainians should stop fighting. Recorded from a street in downtown Kyiv, Zelenskyy said: "We aren't going to lay down weapons. We will protect the country. Our weapon is our truth, and our turn is that it's our land, our country, and our children. And we will defend all of this," per ABC News. Before the video ended, Zelenskyy added: "That is it. That's all I wanted to tell you."

These rumors may have come from the United States' latest offer to evacuate the Ukrainian president out of his country, fearing for Zelenskyy's life. According to The Washington Post, though, many believe that if the Ukrainian president leaves his country, it will make room for an immediate installation of a Russian government.

The rumors were right about the United States offering President Zelenskyy help out of his country. The UK Embassy to Ukraine tweeted Zelenskyy's response: "The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride."