'Vermin' Russian Forces Have Turned Kyiv Into 'Hell'—Ukrainian Lawmaker

A Ukrainian lawmaker has described the "hell" that continues as Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered a fifth day.

Lesia Vasylenko, a member of Ukraine's Parliament, described Russian soldiers as "vermin" infesting her country during an appearance on CNN early on Monday.

Asked what the past 12 hours in Kyiv have been like as Ukrainian forces continues to fend off Russia's bid to capture the capital, she said: "Hell continues. Hell that was unleashed by President Putin and his huge million people army which is invading, no, infesting Ukraine from every single side. They are just moving in closer and closer on Kyiv with their tanks, with the armored vehicles... We have several simultaneous airstrike attacks."

"Every morning, we all wake up and just are so happy to see the sky and to see the sun and to know that we are alive," she said. "We are alive in an independent Ukraine which is still standing."

Vasylenko said children in Ukraine are "in constant stress" and sleeping under stairs, in cellars and inside metro stations. The consequences of the Russian invasion on Ukraine's children will be known in the years after the war is over, Vasylenko said.

"At the moment the children, the adults are standing strong and are standing confident that the war will end and that Ukraine will win," she said.

"But children always ask the same question: when will this end mummy? How many more days of war? When can I go back to my home?... And that's just the reality which I am not able to offer my children."

Vasylenko said she and other lawmakers are aware of Russian troops approaching Ukraine's capital.

"As I said, they are like vermin, they are just infesting the whole country everywhere," she said. "Our armed forces are hitting their military targets, these columns of armored vehicles and tanks approaching and the Russians, they're just keeping on the move."

Vasylenko also said that Russian forces were leaving their dead behind, describing it as "another liability" for Ukraine.

"They don't even stop to pick up their bodies," she said. "We have over 5,000 Russian soldiers dead within five days of war... they are not taking out their bodies, they are not sending their dead home. This is another liability imposed on Ukraine.

"We have fighter jets in the sky, we have Russian missiles in the sky... and now we have to deal with their dead and the bodies of their soldiers. This is insane. it's like they are completely inhuman and like savages. Just pushing in with one sole task to destroy Kyiv and to destroy Ukraine."

Vasylenko could not immediately be reached for further comment.

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Residents gather in bomb shelter
Hundreds of residents from a residential building damaged by a missile gather in a bomb shelter in the basement of a school on February 25, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Pierre Crom/Getty Images