Zelensky: Russia wants world to forget about war
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday implored an audience at the Venice Film Festival to resist indifference to his country’s conflict with Russia as the months-long war rages on.
Appearing on the festival’s Sala Grande screen, Zelensky told the global film industry audience that Russia is staging “a primitive plot in three acts for the world to make three dramatic mistakes. To get used to the war. To put up with the war. To forget about the war.”
More than half a year since Russia first invaded, the war in Ukraine is “a drama based on real-life events” that is “embodied in life by real savages, murderers, torturers, terrorists,” Zelensky said.
“A tragedy accompanied not by Morricone’s brilliant music, but by gruesome ditties and sounds of explosions, gunshots and air raid sirens. Horror, not 120 minutes but 189 days long.”
The Ukrainian president’s speech introduced a credits-like scroll of the names of 358 Ukrainian children under the heading “Russia killed.”
“I want every country, every nation, every institution and community in the world to have a clear idea of what Ukraine is going through now. To hear about this war in the most understandable language. For you, this is the language of cinematography,” Zelensky said, noting that most viewers would “stand up and leave” during closing credits.
“Whenever someone talks about being tired of Ukraine, these titles should be mentioned. To get tired of Ukraine means to brush off these names. To forget these names.”
The video reported 735 children wounded in the conflict, 223 children missing and another 7,013 children abducted or forcibly taken out of the country.
Zelensky’s speech came the night before a mission of experts from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency arrived Thursday at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya plant, where the conflict with Russia has stoked concerns about potential nuclear accident.
Russia has controlled the area where the nuclear power plant, still operated by Ukrainians, is located since early in the war, and the two countries have swapped blame for recent nearby strikes that Ukraine says have damaged buildings at the plant.
Zelensky has called the shelling “Russian nuclear terror” and warned of a possible “radiation disaster.”
Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) met with Zelensky in Ukraine on Tuesday, a week after President Biden announced a nearly $3 billion security assistance package to support Ukraine as the conflict drags on.
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