Fighting is raging near Kyiv and heavy shelling in other areas threatens new attempts to evacuate trapped civilians as France says Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no readiness to end the war in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Moscow was sending in new troops after Ukrainian forces put 31 of Russia's battalion tactical groups out of action in what he called Russia's largest army losses in decades. It was not possible to verify his statements.
He also said about 1300 Ukrainian troops had been killed so far and urged the West to get more involved in peace negotiations. The president suggested Russian forces would face a fight to the death if they sought to enter the capital.
"If they decide to carpet bomb (Kyiv), and simply erase the history of this region, the history of the Kyivan Rus, the history of Europe, and destroy all of us, then they will enter Kyiv. If that's their goal, let them come in, but they will have to live on this land by themselves," he told a news conference.
Zelenskiy discussed the war with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Emmanuel Macron, and the German and French leaders then spoke to Putin by phone and urged the Russian leader to order an immediate ceasefire.
A Kremlin statement on the 75-minute call made no mention of a ceasefire and a French presidency official said: "We did not detect a willingness on Putin's part to end the war".
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov accused the United States of escalating tensions and said the situation had been complicated by convoys of Western arms shipments to Ukraine that Russian forces considered "legitimate targets".
Responding to Zelenskiy's call for the West to be more involved in peace negotiations, a US State Department spokesperson said: "If there are diplomatic steps that we can take that the Ukrainian government believes would be helpful, we're prepared to take them."