“We have already held out for 50 days. 50 days of Russian invasion, although the occupiers gave us a maximum of five. That’s how they “know us”. That’s how they ‘make friends with reality’.’
That was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s powerful opening speech to his people last night to mark 50 days of invasion by Russia.
He praised the “achievement of millions of Ukrainians” in a late-night address to the nation, thanking them for “making the most important decision of their lives — to fight.”
Vladimir Putin’s army invaded Ukraine on February 24 and may have lost thousands of combatants in the war, although full numbers are uncertain.
The war has killed many Ukrainians in combat, but it has also forced large numbers of civilians – including up to 10,000 in the besieged eastern city of Mariupol – and forced millions to flee the country.
Recalling the first day of the invasion, President Zelenskyy said the world does not know “how brave Ukrainians are, how much we value freedom and the opportunity to live the way we want”.
He added: “To put it mildly, no one was sure we would be able to withstand it. All sympathized. Many of them advised me to flee the country. It is advised to actually surrender to tyranny.”
But Mr. Zelensky received the full support of his people – and the world – as he bravely stayed in the country with his family despite at least three assassination attempts.
He went on to give a detailed, even poetic, account of how Ukrainians fought Russian troops and gave examples of bravery.
He went on to mention “those who have shown that Russian warships can sail away, even if they hit the seabed” – his only reference to the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, which sank while being towed into port.
The Russian military finally admitted yesterday that the Soviet-era ship was “seriously damaged” by fire.
The ministry said the fire triggered some of the ship’s weapons and forced the crew to evacuate.
However, the Ukrainian military claimed the large fire was the result of a successful rocket attack.
He added: “You all have become heroes. All Ukrainian men and women who have stood firm and are not giving up.
“And who will win? Who will restore peace to Ukraine? I am sure.’
The head of the UN World Food Program, David Beasley, feared the country’s humanitarian crisis would deepen in the coming weeks as Russia’s attacks continued.
He warned yesterday that Russia’s invasion of grain-exporting Ukraine risks destabilizing nations far from its shores and could trigger waves of people looking for better lives elsewhere for lack of imports.
But Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said in response: “The main factor behind the instability and the source of today’s problem is not the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, but the sanctions imposed on our country aimed at cutting off all supplies from Russia.” and the supply chain, apart from the supplies that these western countries need, which is energy.’
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/04/15/volodymyr-zelenskys-defiant-speech-to-ukraine-50-days-into-war-16472311/ Volodymyr Zelenskyy's defiant speech to Ukraine 50 days after the start of the war