President Zelenskyy says Ukraine ready for peace talks with Russia but not in Belarus

ITV News Correspondent John Ray has the latest from Ukraine as fighting breaks out on the streets of Kharkiv

Ukraine’s president says his country is ready for peace talks with Russia, but not in Belarus - describing the country as a staging ground for Putin's invasion.

Speaking in a video message on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy named Warsaw, Bratislava, Istanbul, Budapest or Baku as alternative venues.

The Kremlin said on Sunday a Russian delegation had arrived in the Belarusian city of Homel for talks with Ukrainian officials.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine continued over the weekend with fighting underway on the streets of the second largest city, Kharkiv, according to Ukrainian authorities.

Russia’s Defence Ministry on Sunday morning claimed more than 470 Ukrainian troops had surrendered near Kharkiv. But later in the day the city's governor claimed "control over Kharkiv is completely ours".

In a post on the Facebook account of Oleh Synyehubov, the Ukranian official said Russian forces had "surrendered" and been taken "captive" where, he says, they spoke of being demoralised.

Russia unleashed a wave of attacks targeting airfields and fuel facilities overnight in what appeared to be the next phase of an invasion that has been slowed by fierce resistance across Ukraine.

Where has been targeted overnight?

Huge explosions lit up the sky early Sunday south of the capital, Kyiv, where people hunkered down in homes, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale assault by Russian forces. Flames billowed into the air before dawn from an oil depot near the Zhuliany airport, about 25 miles south of the capital, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office and the mayor of the nearby town of Vasylkiv.

ITV News Global Security Editor, Rohit Kachroo, was in the capital overnight. He described "another dark night of heavy shelling and loud explosions" as red smoke billowed into the air.

President Zelenskyy’s office said Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv, prompting the government to warn people to protect themselves from the smoke by covering their windows with damp cloth or gauze. “We will fight for as long as needed to liberate our country,” Zelenskyy vowed.

“The past night was tough – more shelling, more bombing of residential areas and civilian infrastructure," he added.

"There is not a single facility in the country that the occupiers wouldn’t consider as admissible targets.”

Terrified men, women and children sought safety inside and underground, and the government maintained a 39-hour curfew to keep people off the streets.

More than 150,000 Ukrainians fled for Poland, Moldova and other neighboring countries, and the United Nations warned the number could grow to 4 million if fighting escalates.

ITV News Correspondent Lucy Watson is at a train station in Poland and has heard some of the harrowing stories from Ukrainians who have fled across the border.

She said people there are focused on the basics - "can I keep my child warm tonight? Where are we going to sleep tonight? They don't want pity, they want help".

President Vladimir Putin hasn’t disclosed his ultimate plans, but Western officials believe he is determined to overthrow Ukraine’s government and replace it with a regime of his own, redrawing the map of Europe and reviving Moscow’s Cold War-era influence.

The UK, European Union and United States agreed to block “selected” Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial messaging system.

What is Swift and why does it matter some Russian banks have been banned from it? ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston explains

The system moves money around more than 11,000 banks and other financial institutions worldwide, part of a new round of sanctions aiming to impose a severe cost on Moscow for the invasion.

They also agreed to impose ”restrictive measures” on Russia's central bank.

Although there are not currently any NATO troops on the ground, allies of Ukraine have been sending weapons, supplies and aid to the country.

ITV News has seen footage of British missiles being carried by Ukranian soldiers on the streets of the country, as smoke billows in the distance.

The Centre for Information Resilience (CIR) is an independent, non-profit investigative group verifying footage relating to the conflict as claims and counterclaims continue on either side.

CIR-verified footage also showed Russia's Chechen allies hoisting their flag above a Ukrainian army base after apparently seizing the compound.

It is unclear how much territory Russian forces had seized or to what extent their advance had been stalled.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said “the speed of the Russian advance has temporarily slowed likely as a result of acute logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance.” A senior US defence official said more than half the Russian combat power that was massed along Ukraine’s borders had entered the country and Moscow has had to commit more fuel supply and other support units inside Ukraine than originally anticipated. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal US assessments.

Listen to the ITV News podcast What You Need To Know, for the latest expert analysis on Ukraine

The curfew forcing everyone in Kyiv inside was set to last through Monday morning. The relative quiet of the capital was sporadically broken by gunfire.

Officials in Kyiv urged residents to stay away from windows to avoid debris or bullets. Shelves were sparsely stocked at grocery stores and pharmacies, and people worried how long food and medicine supplies might last.

Fighting on the city's outskirts suggested that small Russian units were trying to clear a path for the main forces. Small groups of Russian troops were reported inside Kyiv, but the UK and the US said the bulk of the forces were 19 miles from the city's center as of Saturday afternoon. Russia claims its assault on Ukraine from the north, east and south is aimed only at military targets, but bridges, schools and residential neighborhoods have been hit.

Ukraine’s health minister reported Saturday that 198 people, including three children, had been killed and more than 1,000 others wounded during Europe’s largest land war since World War II. It was unclear whether those figures included both military and civilian casualties.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, said troops in Kyiv were fighting Russian “sabotage groups.” Ukraine says some 200 Russian soldiers have been captured and thousands killed. Markarova said Ukraine was gathering evidence of shelling of residential areas, kindergartens and hospitals to submit to The Hague as possible crimes against humanity.

Where has Russia attacked?

Highways into Kyiv from the east were dotted with checkpoints manned by Ukrainian troops and young men in civilian clothes carrying automatic rifles. Low-flying planes patrolled the skies, though it was unclear if they were Russian or Ukrainian. In addition to Kyiv, the Russian assault appeared to focus on Ukraine’s economically vital coastal areas, from near the Black Sea port of Odesa in the west to beyond the Azov Sea port of Mariupol in the east. Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol guarded bridges and blocked people from the shoreline amid concerns the Russian navy could launch an assault from the sea.

Fighting also raged in two eastern territories controlled by pro-Russia separatists. Authorities in Donetsk said hot water supplies to the city of about 900,000 were suspended because of damage to the system by Ukrainian shelling.

War in Europe: Watch ITV News' special update on the invasion in full

President Zelenskyy determined to 'protect the country'

The US government urged Zelenskyy early Saturday to evacuate Kyiv but he turned down the offer, according to a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation. Zelenskyy issued a defiant video recorded on a downtown street, saying he remained in the city. “We aren’t going to lay down weapons. We will protect the country,” he said. “Our weapon is our truth, and our truth is that it’s our land, our country, our children. And we will defend all of that.” Hungary and Poland both opened their borders to Ukrainians.

What support has been offered to Ukraine from the rest of the world?

Western allies, including the UK, have beefed up forces on NATO's eastern flank but so far have ruled out deploying troops to fight Russia.

Instead, the US, the European Union and other countries have slapped wide-ranging sanctions on Russia, freezing the assets of businesses and individuals including Putin and his foreign minister. Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, warned that Moscow could react by opting out of the last remaining nuclear arms pact, freezing Western assets and cutting diplomatic ties. “There is no particular need in maintaining diplomatic relations,” Medvedev said. “We may look at each other in binoculars and gunsights.”