Zelensky’s appeal to Russians: ‘The people of Ukraine want peace’

With the Russian army on its border, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zalansky did what might have been a last resort to the Russian people to prevent the outbreak of a full-scale war between the two countries.

The speech broadcast on television he delivered ZlanskyEarly Thursday morning in Kiev, he arrived when Russia appeared to be approaching war after the Kremlin said two Moscow-backed separatist territories in Ukraine had asked Vladimir Putin to “repel the Ukrainian regime’s aggression.”

While detailing his deep personal ties with the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, Zalansky stressed that Ukraine wants peace and urged the Russians to question the information presented to them by their local state television.

“Many of you have relatives in Ukraine, you studied in universities in Ukraine, you have Ukrainian friends. You know our character, our principles, what is important to us. Listen to yourself, to the voice of reason. The people of Ukraine want peace,” he pleaded. “They tell you that this flame will liberate the people of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian people are free.”

Ukraine was surrounded by nearly 200,000 Russian troops and thousands of armored vehicles, which were given the green light to march forward and enter Ukraine, he admitted. Earlier on Wednesday Ukraine Declared a state of emergency And urged its citizens to leave Russia.

“This move could be the start of a major war in continental Europe,” Zlansky said. “The trigger can happen at any moment, any provocation, any spark – that spark can burn everything.”

Zalansky, a former comic who made an unreasonable entry into politics, often diminished the chances of war with Russia – even as state troops rallied along Ukraine’s border and Western officials became increasingly concerned about Putin’s actions.

He urged them not to rely on Russian narratives about Ukraine, including the oft-repeated claim that its citizens support Nazism. “Ukraine in your news and Ukraine in reality – these are two different countries,” Zlansky said.

He asked how he could order artillery fire on Donbas, where he said he spent a lot of time, had close friends and buried relatives of friends.

“We know for sure that we do not need a war, not a cold war, not a hot war, not a hybrid war,” Zlansky said. But, he warned, if anyone tried to kidnap Ukraine’s freedom, the country would defend itself.

“Attack us, look at our faces, not our backs,” he said, warning of the tens of thousands of deaths that could come.

“I know this speech of mine will not be shown on Russian television,” he said. “But the citizens of Russia must know the truth. And the truth is that it must be stopped before it is too late.”

“Do the Russians want a war?” He asked. “I wish I had the answer, but the answer depends only on you.”

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