The U.S. government reportedly made Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy an offer that most politicians wouldn't refuse. However, Zelenskyy allegedly showed that he isn't like most world leaders.
As Russian military forces invaded Ukraine this week, the U.S. government offered to evacuate Zelenskyy out of harm's way. Despite understanding that his defense was severely outgunned by Russia – one of the strongest militaries in the world – and Vladimir Putin intent on "decapitating" the current Ukraine government, Zelenskyy refused to desert his fellow countrymen.
Zelenskyy declined the offer to flee.
"The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride," an "upbeat" Zelenskyy said, according to a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation, the Associated Press reported.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Thursday that Zelenskyy remains a "prime target for Russian aggression."
Zelenskyy – who traded in his suits for green military fatigues and kevlar – has stayed in Ukraine's capital city as the Russian forces march towards Kyiv.
According to the U.K. Ministry of Defense, "the bulk" of Russian forces are roughly 20 miles from the heart of Kyiv as of Saturday morning.
In a video posted on Saturday morning, Zelenskyy delivered a defiant message to the people of Ukraine as the Russian invasion wages on.
"I am here. We are not putting down arms. We will be defending our country, because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of this," Zelenskyy said in the video captioned: "Do not believe the fakes."
"That is it. That's all I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine," the actor-turned-leader concluded.
Also on Saturday, Zelenskyy issued a press briefing that the Ukrainians will prevail in the war against Russia.
"Our military, our national guard, our national police, our territory defense, special service, nationals of Ukraine, please carry on. We will win. Glory to Ukraine," Zelenskyy said.
"The occupiers wanted to set up their puppet in our capital. They didn’t succeed," he continued. "On our streets, there was a proper fight going on."
"The enemy was using all its weapons, artillery, paratroops, all its weapons. They are hitting residential areas, they are trying to destroy energy infrastructure, and everyone should help us to stop this occupation," Zelenskyy declared.
The 44-year-old Ukrainian president also called on "friends" of Ukraine to help them defeat the Russians.
"Everyone who can defend Ukraine abroad please do it directly in a united way," he said, according to Sky News. "Every friend of Ukraine who wants to join Ukraine in defending the country please come over, we will give you weapons."
On Saturday afternoon, Zelenskyy thanked Germany for sending military aid to Ukraine.
"The Russian attack marks a turning point. It is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend against the invading army of [Vladimir] Putin," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Saturday.
Germany will supply Ukraine with 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles, which bypasses the nation's long-standing policy of not exporting weapons to war zones.
On Saturday, the United States pledged to send $350 million in military aid to Ukraine.