Russian aggression not limited to Ukraine alone: Zelensky - GulfToday

Russian aggression not limited to Ukraine alone: Zelensky


A view of a residential building destroyed as a result of shellfire a few weeks ago in Chernihiv, Ukraine. AFP

Gulf Today Report

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia's aggression was never limited to just Ukraine and the whole of Europe was a target as he urged the West to impose a complete embargo on Russian energy products and to supply Ukraine with more weapons.

Zelensky said that democratic countries are united in working to stop the Russian invasion as civilians continued to flee eastern parts of the country before an expected onslaught and firefighters searched for survivors in a northern town no longer occupied by Russian forces.


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In his daily late-night video address to Ukrainians, Zelensky said that "Russian aggression was not intended to be limited to Ukraine alone" and the "entire European project is a target for Russia.”

Several European leaders have made efforts to show solidarity with the battle-scarred nation. Zelensky thanked the leaders of Britain and Austria for their visits Saturday to Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, and pledges of further support. He also thanked the European Commission president and Canada's prime minister for a global fundraising event that brought in more than 10 billion euros ($11 billion) for Ukrainians who have fled their homes.

Volodymyr Zelensky (right) and Boris Johnson walk along a street after a meeting in Kyiv. Reuters

Meanwhile, a new grave with dozens of civilian Ukrainians was found on Saturday in Buzova, a liberated village near the capital Kyiv that for weeks was occupied by Russian forces, a local official said.

Taras Didych, head of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova and several other nearby villages, told Ukrainian television that the bodies were found in a ditch near a petrol station. The number of dead is yet to be confirmed.

"Now, we are returning to life, but during the occupation we had our 'hotspots', many civilians died," Didych said.

Ursula von der Leyen (left) and Andrzej Duda arrive to take part in a global event in Warsaw. Reuters

Zelensky repeated his call for a complete embargo on Russian oil and gas, which he called the sources of Russia’s "self-confidence and impunity.”

"Freedom does not have time to wait,” Zelensky said. "When tyranny begins its aggression against everything that keeps the peace in Europe, action must be taken immediately."

More than six weeks after the invasion began, Russia has pulled its troops from the northern part of the country, around Kyiv, and refocused on the Donbas region in the east. Western military analysts said an arc of territory in eastern Ukraine was under Russian control, from Kharkiv — Ukraine’s second-largest city — in the north to Kherson in the south.

This photo shows a view of a destroyed residential house in Novoselivka, Chernihiv suburbs, Ukraine. AFP

But counterattacks are threatening Russian control of Kherson, according to the Western assessments, and Ukrainian forces are repelling Russian assaults elsewhere in the Donbas, a largely Russian-speaking and industrial region.

Civilians were evacuating eastern Ukraine following a missile strike Friday that killed at least 52 people and wounded more than 100 at a train station where thousands clamored to leave.

As Russian forces were engaged in an offensive against Kyiv in the first weeks of Moscow's invasion, a number of communities surrounding the capital, including Makariv, Bucha, Irpin and Dmytrivka remained under constant fire.

Larysa and her husband came to remove the rubbles from their destroyed house in Novoselivka, Ukraine. AFP

Local Ukraine media in early April reported casualties found in and near Buzova, with about 30 bodies found at the time.

With most of the towns and villages around Kyiv now seized back, discoveries of mass graves and civilian casualties have triggered a wave of international condemnation, in particular over deaths in the town of Bucha, northwest of the capital.

On Saturday, Zelensky said that while the threat to Kyiv had receded, Ukraine was preparing for a tough battle with Russian forces amassing in the east of the country. Ukrainian officials have called on people in the east of the country to flee.



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