Ukraine President makes dramatic appeal to Russian citizens
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country has no need for war but added that if attacked, his nation will defend itself.
“We have no need for another Cold War, or a bloody war, or a hybrid war,” Zelensky said in an address posted on his official Facebook account early Thursday local time.
“But if we are attacked militarily, if they try to take away our freedom, our lives, our children’s’ lives, we will defend ourselves,” the Ukrainian president added, in a speech in Russian, aimed at Russian citizens. “When you attack, you will see our faces and not our spines, our faces.”
Zelensky called war a “terrible misfortune.” He said he was ready to continue diplomatic talks with Russia and argued that Ukraine does not pose a threat to Russia.
“They say that Ukraine may pose a threat to Russia. This wasn’t a case in the past, nor is it now, and won’t be in the future,” he said. “Our main goal is to maintain peace in Ukraine and keep Ukrainian citizens safe. For this we are prepared to hold discussions with everyone, including you [Russia], in whatever format you like at whatever venue.”
“Russian TV will surely not show this video, but the Russian people must watch it. The truth must be known. And that truth is that this all needs to stop now, before it’s too late,” Zelensky said.
“If the leadership of Russia does not want to sit at the table with us to make peace, perhaps it will sit at the table with you. Does Russia want a war? I would very much like an answer to this question. But that answer depends only on you, citizens of the Russian Federation,” he said.
Watch part of President Zelensky’s speech:
- Biden calls Russia’s actions beginning of an invasion
- Putin orders troops into pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine
- Satellite imagery shows Russian ground forces dispersing to positions close to Ukraine border
- Biden says he’s convinced Putin has decided to attack Ukraine but insists diplomacy not off the table
- What the Minsk agreement is, and what it could mean for the Russia-Ukraine crisis
- Biden warns Russian invasion of Ukraine ‘remains distinctly possible’ but pushes for diplomatic solution