Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday morning that he spoke to his French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron, adding that weapons and equipment “from our partners” are on the way to Ukraine.
“A new day on the diplomatic frontline began with a conversation with @EmmanuelMacron. Weapons and equipment from our partners are on the way to Ukraine. The anti-war coalition is working!” he tweeted.
He also tweeted that he is getting support calls from Switzerland and Greece. “I’m getting support calls. Spoke with President of Switzerland @ignaziocassis and Prime Minister of Greece @kmitsotakis. Thank you for the decisions on concrete assistance to 🇺🇦!” he wrote.
Ever since the Russian invasion started on February 24th, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has given stiff resistance to the Russians by saying he will not bow down against them.
“I am here. We will not lay down any weapons. We will defend our state because our weapons are our truth,” he said in a video on Saturday after rumours started circulating that the 44-year-old had fled the country.
He urged the citizens not to believe in misinformation and dismissed the fact that the Ukrainian army had surrendered. “A lot of fake information has appeared on the internet saying that I allegedly called on our army to lay down its arms and that evacuation is under way,” he said.
Standing tall in front of the presidency building and flanked by his top advisors he said, in another video message, ”We’re all here. Our military is here. Citizens in society are here. We’re all here defending our independence, our country and it will stay this way.”
“We have to persevere tonight. The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now. The night will be hard, very hard, but there will be a morning,” he said.
Russian army suffering heavy losses, claims Zelensky
Praising the Ukrainian army for their courage and sacrifice, Zelensky said, “Our main goal is to end this bloodbath. The enemy is suffering heavy losses – hundreds of soldiers killed who crossed our border and entered our land. Unfortunately, we are also suffering losses. Ukrainians are courageously resisting the aggression which is impossible to justify, so the occupants are forced to invent increasingly absurd accusations, to at least have something to say.”
Accusing Russia of targeting residential buildings including a kindergarten, Zelensky, on Saturday said, “Grad (rockets) struck a kindergarten in Vorzel in the Kyiv region. Uragan (rockets) hit Okhtyrka in the Sumy region. Shelling hit residential neighborhoods, shelters and kindergartens. What is this war against Ukrainian children in kindergarten? Who are they? Are they also ‘neo-Nazis?’ Or are they NATO soldiers who threatened Russia?”
‘This might be the last time you see me alive’
In a video conference on Thursday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told European Union (EU) leaders, “This might be the last time you see me alive.”
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, who also attended the videoconference, told the Stockholm-based TT news agency that when the EU leaders said goodbye to Zelenskyy they knew they might not see him again.
No help from the world
On Friday, while addressing the nation, Zelensky said that sanctions were being imposed on Russia. He also said that Ukraine was not getting any aid or assistance from Western countries. “This morning (Friday), we are defending our country alone. Just like yesterday, the most powerful country in the world looked on from a distance. Russia was hit with sanctions yesterday, but these are not enough to get these foreign troops off our soil. Only through solidarity and determination can this be achieved,” he said in a Facebook video.
Russia and Ukraine share a troubled relationship ever since the Cold War. The tensions rose to new heights when Zelensky urged US President Joe Biden to let it join NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). This did not go well with Russia who then warned of military action if Ukraine is inducted into NATO.
In 2014, Russia and Ukraine reached a breaking point when Russia, backed by rebels, invaded Ukraine, seized parts of Eastern Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Ever since their relationships have weakened. The war claimed 14,000 lives.
Russia on February 24th declared war on Ukraine and stormed into its borders through land, sea and water. Continuous bombings and explosions are being heard since then. On Saturday Russian troops neared the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The invasion has generated strong condemnation and attacks from the West and various European Union countries unveiling a series of sanctions.