Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said that Russian saboteurs had entered Kyiv, the capital, and that he was “target No. 1” for Russian forces, followed by his family.
In a short video address released after midnight on Friday in Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky, unshaven and wearing a T-shirt, said that 137 Ukrainians, military and civilian, had been killed so far in the Russian invasion that began Thursday morning.
“There is also information about the enemy’s sabotage groups entering Kyiv,” he said. “This is why I am asking citizens of Kyiv to be vigilant and adhere to the rules of martial law.”
Speaking in Ukrainian rather than his native Russian, he disputed Russia’s claims that it was striking only military targets. “They’re killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets,” he said.
“According to the available intelligence, the enemy marked me as a target No. 1 and my family as the target No. 2,” he said. “They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of the state.”
Mr. Zelensky warned Ukrainians not to expect help from abroad. “We are left to our own devices in defense of our state,” he said. “Who is ready to fight together with us? Honestly, I do not see such.”
Among the many false rumors circulating, Mr. Zelensky said, was one that he had fled the country. “I am staying in the capital,” he said, adding that his family was also in Ukraine but that he could not disclose their location.
In Washington, the Biden administration said it was aware of Mr. Zelensky’s whereabouts. The administration “is in touch with him,” according to Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.
Zolan Kanno-Youngs contributed reporting from Washington.