Ukraine: President Zelenskyy calls for NATO to help his country
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In a video published on his Telegram account just after 5am this morning, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the assault on both military and civilian targets in his country has continued. He added that Western sanctions were not enough, stating that Ukraine was being forced to fight “alone”, while other countries simply watched “from afar”.
This comes as Ukraine’s deputy defence minister states Russian forces could enter areas just outside Kiev today.
In his video, Mr Zelenskyy stated: “This morning we are defending our state alone. Like yesterday, the world’s most powerful forces are watching from afar.
“Did yesterday’s sanctions convince Russia? We hear in our sky and see on our earth that this was not enough.”
On Thursday, Boris Johnson hit Russia with what he called the “largest set of sanctions ever imposed anywhere by the UK Government”.
This includes targeting Putin’s former son-in-law Kirill Shamalov.
Five more oligarchs who are particularly close to the Kremlin will be sanctioned, including Russia’s once youngest billionaire and former husband of Vladimir Putin’s daughter Mr Shamalov.
The assets of all major Russian banks will be frozen, including an immediate freeze on VTB, which has assets totalling £154billion.
Exports to Russia will also be hit hard. A range of high-tech exports to Russia will be prohibited in the next few days, and the use of export licences to Russia will be suspended.
In his statement in the Commons, the PM said more than 100 businesses and individuals will be tackled in total, including “all the major manufacturers that support Putin’s war machine”.
Whitehall officials said the sanctions should have a significant impact on Russia’s economy, potentially lowering the country’s GDP over the next 12 months.
Ursula von der Leyen has also announced a five point plan of sanctions against Russia.
These include targeting 70 percent of Russian banks, the energy sector and cutting off exports to the country.
In this morning’s speech, Mr Zelenskyy said Ukraine had not been defeated.
He claimed his forces had stopped Russian troops from advancing in “most directions”.
He added: “It will not be possible to destroy our character. Kalibr missiles are helpless against our freedom.”
After initially speaking in Ukrainian, Mr Zelenskyy then switched to Russian in order to address the citizens of Russia.
He said: “Respected citizens of the Russian Federation.
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“As I said earlier tonight, [Russia] has started bombing civilian areas of Kiev. This reminds me of 1941.
“ All citizens of Russia who are going out to protest, I want to say, we see you. This means you have heard us.
“This means you are starting to trust us. Fight for us. Fight against war.”
Following a phone call with Joe Biden yesterday, Mr Zelenskyy added: “Don’t panic. We are strong.
“We are ready for everything. We will defeat everyone. Because we are Ukraine.”
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