President Zelensky Says ‘Left Alone’ To Fight Against Russia; Claims 137 Ukrainians Killed On First Day Of Fighting
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 137 Ukrainians, both military personnel and civilians, had been killed and 316 have been wounded since the start of the attack early Thursday.
Kyiv: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his country had been left on its own to fight Russia after the Kremlin launched a large-scale invasion that killed over 130 Ukrainians on the first day. “We have been left alone to defend our state…Who is ready to fight alongside us? I don’t see anyone. Who is ready to give Ukraine a guarantee of NATO membership? Everyone is afraid,” news agency AFP reported Volodymyr Zelensky as saying in a video address to the nation after midnight.
Zelensky said that 137 Ukrainians, both military personnel and civilians, had been killed and 316 have been wounded since the start of the attack early Thursday. He further said that Russian “sabotage groups” had entered the capital Kyiv, and urged the city’s citizens to remain vigilant and observe a curfew.
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He further ordered a full military mobilisation as his country faced a large-scale invasion by the Russian troops. Zelensky ordered the General Staff to work out how many servicemen will be called up and in which order.
The president added that he and his family remained in Ukraine, despite Russia identifying him as “target number one”. “They want to destroy Ukraine politically by taking down the head of state,” Zelensky said.
Earlier, Ukrainian officials said that the country’s military was fighting to repel a “full-scale invasion” by Russia on at least three fronts, after President Joe Biden accused Vladimir Putin of personally choosing to carry out “a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.”
Russian shelling began early on Thursday morning in Ukraine, just moments after Putin said he had “decided to conduct a special military operation” aimed at the “demilitarization and denazification” of the neighboring country.
He called on Ukraine’s forces to lay down their arms and surrender their country to Russian control, and warned the U.S. and NATO not to interfere or they would face “consequences you have never seen.”
The invasion came just two days after Putin recognized the self-declared “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas region as independent, sending shockwaves across the globe and sparking a round of sanctions from the West.
Russia had massed roughly 190,000 forces near the Ukrainian border before the invasion began.
(With inputs from agencies)
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