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Volodymyr Zelensky accuses Russian forces of targeting civilians, says Russia will have to talk 'sooner or later'

Volodymyr Zelensky spoke as Moscow's forces reached the capital, with explosions heard in the city that the government described as "horrific rocket strikes."

February 25, 2022 / 12:31 PM IST

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that invading Russian forces are targeting civilian areas, praising his countrymen for their "heroism" and assuring Kyiv is doing "everything possible" to protect them.

He spoke as Moscow's forces reached the capital, with explosions heard in the city that the government described as "horrific rocket strikes."

"They say that civilian objects are not a target for them. But this is another lie of theirs. In reality, they do not distinguish between areas in which they operate," Zelensky said in a video.

"Ukrainian air defence systems are defending our skies," he said. "Ukrainians are demonstrating heroism". "All our forces are doing everything possible" to protect people, he added.

The Ukrainian leader called on people to show "solidarity" and help the elderly find shelter and "access to real information."  Zelensky also said that Russia will have to eventually talk to Kyiv to end their war.

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"Russia will have to talk to us sooner or later. Talk about how to end the fighting and stop this invasion. The sooner the conversation begins, the less losses there will be for Russia itself," he said.

Switching into Russian in his address, Zelensky acknowledged Russian street protests against Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine that ended with mass arrests Thursday.

"To the citizens of the Russian Federation that are coming out to protest, we see you. And this means that you have heard us. This means that you believe us. Fight for us. Fight against war."

Russian police detained more than 1,700 people at anti-war protests across dozens of cities Thursday night. Moscow was asleep when Putin ordered an air and ground assault on Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday.



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AFP
first published: Feb 25, 2022 12:09 pm
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