Europe

Zelensky says Ukrainian defenses holding

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that the country’s defense lines were holding against the Russian incursions and referred to the attack as “another virus” the country had to face.

“It’s been a week now that another virus attacked” and Ukrainians “have nothing to lose but our own freedom,” he said in an emotional speech, according to Reuters.

Zelensky told Ukrainians that the defense forces had held their lines against Russia’s invasion through another night filled with airstrikes. 

“They wanted to destroy us so many times. They couldn’t. We’ve been through so much! And if someone thinks that, having overcome all this, Ukrainians will be frightened, broken or surrender — he knows nothing about Ukraine, and he has nothing to do in Ukraine,” he said in a video message according to CBS News.

The president said that Ukrainians have endured tragedies and hardship including two world wars, the Holodomor famine, Holocaust, Soviet terror, the Chernobyl nuclear explosion and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. 

“We don’t have the biggest territory … we don’t have nuclear arms, we don’t provide oil and gas to international markets. But we do have our people. We do have our land. This is what we are fighting for,” he said, according to Reuters.

He added that Ukraine continued to receive weapons and supplies from its allies, adding that 16,000 foreign volunteers have sought to “join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world.”

Zelensky’s video message came shortly after Russian forces seized control of a key port city in southern Ukraine, Kherson.

The BBC reported that Kherson is the first major city to be taken by Russia since it invaded the country a week ago. Mariupol city council has also said that the Russian forces have besieged the area, and that citizens have
“no light, water or heat again.”

Tags NATO Russia-Ukraine conflict Vladimir Putin Volodymyr Zelensky

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