Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has addressed the world in a dramatic video message demanding more help for his country in the fight against Russia. In the recording, Zelenskyy can be seen walking through the empty streets of kyiv, visibly exhausted. “The world must stop the war,” he appealed.
“Get out of your offices, your houses, your schools and universities,” he said in the video. “Take to the streets with Ukrainian symbols to defend Ukraine, defend freedom, defend life,” Zelenskyy said.
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Zelenskyy said the last month had been “long.” However, he praised the Ukrainian resistance, which had been much fiercer than Russia expected. Ukraine will fight as long as necessary. “This is a war for independence and we must win it,” he said. “We will rebuild every city and hold invaders accountable for every crime,” he promised. “All our people will live in a free Ukraine.”
At NATO, EU and G7 summits in Brussels it will be seen who is Ukraine’s friend and partner and who betrayed and sold out the country. Selenskyj again called for a no-fly zone and fighter jets, which NATO countries like the United States and Germany have already rejected. However, several Western countries, including Germany and Britain, have delivered thousands of new anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, or intend to do so.
US President Joe Biden also arrived in Brussels for the summit marathon. Western states want to demonstrate their determination and unity after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to the German government, a European boycott of Russian energy imports is not on the agenda. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he would only sell oil and gas for rubles could make deliveries impossible. Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck described this as a breach of contract.
Ukrainian forces say Russia wants to go back on the offensive to take cities like Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy and Mariupol. Russia should also bring in new troop formations near the Ukrainian border. The Russian government asked Russian soldiers who fought in Syria to show up for action via Facebook.
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More Russian shelling was reported from several Ukrainian cities. Satellite photos from the US company Maxar show how badly destroyed the port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, which once had 400,000 inhabitants, has already been destroyed by Russian attacks. According to Ukrainian sources, the civilian population still in the city lacks electricity, water and food. For days, attempts have been made to get the people of the city to safety.
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Ukraine and Western countries speak of a war of aggression and a Russian invasion of the neighboring country that began on February 24. Russia, on the other hand, describes its actions in Ukraine as a special operation to destroy military bases and to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine. According to Ukraine and Western security circles, tens of thousands of people have already been killed in the war. The UN now speaks of 3.5 million refugees from Ukraine.
The NATO meeting in Brussels will be about the western defense alliance militarily strengthening the eastern flank. Countries like Poland and the Baltic states fear that Russia could attack them too. This will be followed by a G7 summit in Brussels, to which the German Presidency has invited. The 27 heads of state and government of the EU want to clarify in their two-day deliberations how they can continue to help Ukraine, what is the course of new sanctions against Russia and how they want to react to the sharp increase in energy prices. The traffic light coalition in Berlin decided this morning on a comprehensive national aid package. (Reuters, AFP)