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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Russia-Ukraine War: Every day is a hard day, says Volodymyr Zelensky

Seen in his Kyiv office for the first time, Ukraine President says he is not hiding and he is not afraid of anyone

New York Times News Service , Reuters Published 09.03.22, 03:38 AM
A picture taken from an Instagram video shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky winking at the camera in Kyiv on Tuesday.

A picture taken from an Instagram video shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky winking at the camera in Kyiv on Tuesday. (Instagram/Volodymyr Zelensky via Reuters)

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine spoke from his office in Kyiv on Monday night, the first time he had been seen there since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

In a brief video posted on his Facebook page, Zelensky said that he was not hiding, and he was not afraid of anyone.

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“We used to say: Monday is a hard day,” he said. “There is a war in the country so every day is Monday, and now we are used to the fact that every day and every night are like that.”

In the video, Zelensky provided updates on Russian attacks, and also said he had signed a decree on Monday to present state awards to 96 “Ukrainian heroes”.

Zelensky also criticised Russian troops for attacks on certain sites on Monday, including accusing them of firing at a bread factory in Makariv, about an hour west of Kyiv.

“Think about it — to fire at the bread factory. Who should you be to do that?” Zelensky said. The President also condemned Russian troops for disregarding an agreement on a humanitarian corridor, after shelling prevented evacuation of besieged cities.

“Did it work?” Zelensky said of the corridor. “Russian tanks worked instead.”

In an update on Monday night, Britain’s defence ministry said that Russian troops continued to directly target evacuation corridors, which had resulted in several casualties of civilians who tried to flee Irpin, just outside Kyiv. It said the town had been without heat, water or power for several days because of fighting in the area.

Zelensky’s nightly video addresses, rallying Ukrainian resistance and world opinion, have become something of a ritual since Russia invaded on February 24. Russian offensives against several major cities have bogged down in the face of logistical problems and unexpectedly fierce defences.

In his Monday night message, Zelensky said that a national movement had unfolded in the southern part of the country, creating “a nightmare” for Russia.

“We are not afraid of tanks and machine guns,” he said.

Zelensky said that every day of resistance puts Ukraine in a “strong position” to guarantee the country’s future, adding that Ukraine will rebuild everything that has been shelled and bombed by Russian forces. “There will be no trace of the enemy,” he said. “We will make our cities destroyed by the invader better than any city in Russia.”

Appeal to Britain

Zelensky appealed to Britain to do more to help his country fight Russia and to punish “the terrorist state” on Tuesday, striking a defiant tone.

Addressing Britain’s parliament and greeted by a standing ovation in a packed chamber of lawmakers, Zelensky documented the Russian invasion day by day. He thanked Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has sought to take a leading role in supporting Ukraine against Russia.

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