Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a moving televised address in the early hours of Thursday morning, addressing the Russian people directly in an effort to prevent a possible all-out war between Russia and Ukraine.
Recounting his personal relations with the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, he stressed that Ukraine wanted peace and urged the Russians to question the information given to them by local state television.
He said Ukraine is surrounded by about 200,000 Russian soldiers and thousands of armored vehicles.
He called on Russians not to believe the accounts of Ukraine being shown on Russian state television, including the repeated claim that Ukrainians supported Nazism. He talked about his grandfather who fought in World War II as a soldier in the Soviet Army.
“Ukraine is in your news and Ukraine is in fact – two different countries,” Zelensky said.
He asked in the letter how he could order artillery fire on the Donbass, as he said that he spent a lot of time, had close friends and buried relatives of his friends.
He said that Ukrainians and Russians share a deep and common history. Many of you have gone to Ukraine, and many of you have relatives in Ukraine. . . Hear us, hear us. The people of Ukraine want peace.”
“We know for sure that we don’t need a war, no cold war, no hot war, no hybrid war,” he said. But he said if anyone tried to snatch Ukraine’s freedom, it would defend itself.
“I know that my speech will not be shown on Russian television,” he said. But the citizens of Russia should know the truth. The truth is that this must stop before it is too late.”
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