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Ukraine mobilizes citizens as Russian troops advance on Kyiv

“Today Ukraine needs everything,” Commander Yuri Galushkin said in a statement

February 25, 2022 11:50am

Updated: February 25, 2022 1:22pm

As Russian forces continue to push deeper into Ukrainian territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on Thursday ordering the general mobilization of the population, calling up conscripts and reservists over the next 90 days to “ensure the defense of the state, maintaining combat and mobilization readiness.”

"We have been left alone to defend our state," Zelensky told the Ukrainian people in a late-night video address – further warning "a new iron curtain" had fallen between Russia and the West, Reuters reported.

Following the decree, the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service issued a statement banning men between the age of 18 and 60 from leaving the country.

“Today Ukraine needs everything,” Commander Yuri Galushkin said in a statement.

The move came shortly after Zelensky declared martial law, citing Russian military attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and explosions across the country, USA Today reported.

"We’re introducing martial law on the whole territory of our country," he said during a video address on Thursday. "We are working. The army is working. The whole sector of defense and security is working."

Zelensky also vowed to stay in Ukraine as Russian forces advanced towards Kyiv and citizens to come forward to defend the country, promising that his government would issue weapons to anyone who volunteered to fight.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, 137 citizens – including military personnel – have been killed and more than 300 injured, although the Kremlin has claimed to have only attacked military targets.

"They're killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets. It's foul and will never be forgiven," he said.

On Thursday, Russian troops took control of Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster, allegedly taking hostages. Zelensky also reported that all the border guards on Zmiinyi island in the Odesa region were killed.