Russian soldiers advance towards Ukraine's capital Kyiv

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
Russian soldiers advance towards Ukraine's capital Kyiv
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Russian troops pressed toward Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Saturday after a night of explosions and street fighting sent Kyiv residents seeking shelter underground.

One Russian missile hit a residential building in a western suburb early on Saturday morning.

Three floors of the building were severely damaged. It is not yet whether there were casualties - firefighters did manage to carry some of the residents out.

According to the city mayor Vitali Klitschko, at least 35 people were injured on Friday night, including two children.

The health ministry says at least 198 people have died since the invasion began on Thursday.

Russian soldiers are continuing to advance closer to the centre of Kyiv, although it's not clear how close they are now.

There are also reports of street fighting and city officials have been urging people to take shelter.

Ukrainian officials claim they're having some success in stopping the Russian assault.

Skirmishes that have been reported on the edge of Kyiv suggest that small Russian units have been probing Ukrainian defences to clear a path for the main forces.

Saturday's street clashes followed two days of massive air and missile strikes that Russian officials said targeted Ukrainian military facilities as their ground troops moved in from the north, east and south. The assault pummelled bridges, schools and apartment buildings, and resulted in hundreds of casualties.

But in the fog of war, it's unclear how much of Ukraine is still under Ukrainian control and how much Russian forces have seized.

A British official, armed forces minister James Heappey, said fighting in Kyiv was so far confined to “very isolated pockets of Russian special forces and paratroopers” and that “the main armoured columns approaching Kyiv are still some way off”.

City officials have urged residents to seek shelter, to stay away from windows and to take precautions to avoid flying debris or bullets.

Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he's refused an offer by the United States to flee the fighting.

In a video recorded on a street in central Kyiv, he said he had not left the city and that claims the Ukrainian military would put down their arms were false.

American officials believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is determined to overthrow Ukraine's government and replace it with a regime of his own.

He's urged Ukraine's military to overthrow its own government.

The invasion is Putin's boldest effort yet to redraw the map of Europe and revive Moscow’s Cold War-era influence.

It's triggered new international efforts to end the invasion, including direct sanctions on Putin.