Zelensky said the NATO gathering was â€œweakâ€ and â€œconfusedâ€ and said the alliance knew that further Russian aggression was likely. He accused the body of having blood on its hands.
â€œAll the people who die starting today will also die because of you. Because of your weakness, because of your disconnection,â€ Zelensky said.
â€œToday the leadership of the alliance gave the green light for further bombing of Ukrainian cities and villages, refusing to make a no-fly zone.â€
Zelensky â€“ who has been the subject of several foiled assassination attempts from Russian-back mercenaries – posted a video on his official Instagram refuting suspected Kremlin-backed reports he had fled the country.
â€œEvery two days information comes out that I have fled somewhere â€” fled from Ukraine, from Kyiv, from my office. As you can see, I am here in my place… Nobody has fled anywhere. Here, we are working,â€ he said.
â€œWe like jogging, but now we donâ€™t have time for that, for various cardio exercises,â€ he joked. â€œWorking. Glory to Ukraine.â€
An attack at Zaporizhzhia, Europeâ€™s largest nuclear facility, was condemned by Western leaders and raised the prospect of widening the war. No army has previously attacked an active nuclear facility.
Less than 100km from the power plant, life was eerily normal in Ukraineâ€™s fourth-largest city Dnipro.
The city was once one of the worldâ€™s most important centres of Jewish culture and civilisation, and still has a significant proportion of the population have Jewish ancestry.
Despite war raging just 200km north in Karkiv and 85km south where the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is located, snow-covered Dnipro has yet to be attacked.
A reserve major in Ukraineâ€™s armed forces said he wasnâ€™t sure whether Russia would attack Dnipro in the coming days, but the city and the military were prepared to defend it.
But he feared for the civilians in the city who had no training in how to fight.
â€œToday the problem is… the enemy could be from the sky because there could be bombing or missiles,â€ he said. â€œHere in the city, there are my friends and family who are not military – they have no helmet or ballistic vests.â€
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said more support in the form of military hardware was on its way, for but said the Westâ€™s responsibility was to prevent the war from escalating beyond Ukraine.
â€œBecause that would be even more dangerous, more devastating and would cause even more human suffering,â€ Stoltenberg said.
â€œHere in the city, there are my friends and family who are not military – they have no helmet or ballistic vests.â€
Ukrainian major, Dnipro
More than 22 NATO nations and a handful of others have said they will send military assistance to Ukraine, including antitank missiles, artillery ammunition and Stinger surface-to-air missiles
But the delivery of weapons donated by the West across the borders has been slowed in recent days, with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania providing the only access but east-west roads that can handle truck transport are clogged with refugees fleeing the country.
Amid evident fears that a wider world war might be triggered accidentally, the Pentagon on Friday confirmed that it had established a new hotline with Russiaâ€™s ministry of defence to prevent â€œmiscalculation, military incidents and escalationâ€ in the region.
Hours before Mairupol was given a chance to evacuate civilians, Boychenko said the city of 400,000 residents was without water, heat or electricity and was running out of food.
â€œWe are simply being destroyed,â€ he said in a televised appeal. â€œThey want to wipe Mariupol and Mariupol residents off the face of the Earth.â€
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that â€œradioactive cloudsâ€ could spread over Europe if the West does not act following Russiaâ€™s unprecedented assault on a nuclear power plant.
Russia has claimed it had retaken Hostomel airport, a strategic target for the Kremlin since the war began, but a British defence intelligence update said there was â€œrenewed fightingâ€ around the airfield at the front end of the 60-km long Russian armoured convoy that has become bogged down en route to the capital. The intelligence briefing said the column had made â€œlittle discernible progress in over four daysâ€.
Western intelligence officials told American broadcaster CNN there was a continued shift in Russian strategy from military targets to civilians, with more attacks becoming focused on population centre. They fear a pickup in the pace and strength of strikes, could include a significant increase in the number of civilian casualties.
â€œItâ€™s a very crude approach,â€ the official said. â€œThe heavier weapons are not just heavier in the weight, theyâ€™re also heavier in terms of the damage that they can inflict. And theyâ€™re far less discriminant.â€