Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy condemned early Tuesday President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognise breakaway republics and send Russian troops into his
“But we are on our own land, we are not afraid of anything and anybody, we owe nothing to no one, and we will give nothing to no one,” Zelenskiy said in a broadcast early today.
He accused Russia of sabotaging peace negotiations and stated that no territorial compromises will be made.
After Russia’s decision to formally recognize two Moscow-backed areas of eastern Ukraine as autonomous and commit troops to the region, a crisis that the West worries might escalate into a major conflict, Zelenskiy spoke.
After chairing a security council meeting, Zelenskiy accused Russia of infringing on Ukraine’s national territory, warning that this might lead to the Minsk peace negotiations aimed at ending the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine being canceled.
Ukraine, according to Zelenskiy, wants to resolve the problem through dialogue, but is prepared to stay in the fight for the long haul.
“We are committed to the peaceful and diplomatic path, we will follow it and only it,” Zelenskiy said.
He asked for an immediate meeting of Ukraine’s, Russia’s, Germany’s, and France’s presidents, as well as asking Ukraine’s allies to act against Russia.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin told Russia’s defense ministry to send forces into the two territories to “maintain the peace,” a Reuters witness spotted unusually large columns of military weaponry moving into the rebel city of Donetsk.
Russia’s activities elicited condemnation from the US and Europe, as well as threats of fresh penalties, though it remained unclear whether the West would see the Russian military move as the start of a full-scale invasion.
In effect, the territory was already under the hands of Russian-backed separatists and Moscow.
After Russia massed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders in recent weeks, Zelenskiy’s administration expressed dissatisfaction with the West’s refusal to apply preemptive sanctions.
“We expect clear and effective steps of support from our partners,” Zelenskiy said.
“It is very important to see who is our real friend and partner, and who will continue to scare the Russian Federation with words.”