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Zelensky urges compatriots to redouble support for Ukrainian troops

27.03.2023 10:30
Ukraine’s president has called on the nation to support the army’s war effort against the Russian invasion “whenever possible,” even though fighting is mainly concentrated in the east and south of the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr ZelenskyPhoto: EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Volodymyr Zelensky made the appeal in a video address to Ukrainians late on Sunday, according to his office.

The Ukrainian president said: “Now, just as it was a year ago, it is important that as many Ukrainians as possible help the defence of the state, help the accumulation of world support for our victory.”

He urged: “Fellow Ukrainians! Support our warriors whenever possible. Don't forget about volunteers’ fundraising campaigns and join when you can.”

Zelensky also said that earlier on Sunday he met with military  commanders, security officials and intelligence chiefs.

He said the meetings focused on “defence, reinforcement of our protection, both from external threats and from internal threats.”

He stressed: “We’re preparing respective steps.”

Zelensky announced that Ukraine had received EUR 1.5 billion in macrofinancial assistance from the European Union, according to Britain’s The Guardian newspaper.

Avdiivka becoming ‘post-apocalyptic’: Ukrainian official 

Meanwhile, Russia’s intense assaults on Avdiivka, in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, are turning the city into “a place from post-apocalyptic movies,” a top local official warned on Sunday. 

Avdiivka’s military administration head Vitaliy Barabash said on the Telegram messaging app: "I am sad to say this, but Avdiivka is becoming more and more like a place from post-apocalyptic movies."

Barabash added, as quoted by the Reuters news agency, that the evacuation of the remaining utility workers from Avdiivka had begun and that mobile reception would be turned off soon "because there are informers of the Russian occupiers in the city." 

Amid Russia’s recent gradual gains on Avdiivka’s flanks, the Ukrainian army warned last week that the city could become a "second Bakhmut," which has been reduced to rubble after a months-long siege, according to Reuters.

An estimated 2,000 remain in Avdiivka, which had a prewar population of over 30,000, news outlets reported.

One person was injured in multiple air strikes on Avdiivka on Saturday, while on Sunday Russian shelling targeted two high-rise buildings in the city, according to officials.

Barabash urged residents: "You have to go, you have to pack your things, especially with your children."

Russia has denied targeting civilians in the now 13-month invasion of its neighbour, which has seen thousands killed, millions displaced and tens of Ukrainian cities nearly or partially wiped out, the Reuters news agency reported.

Putin’s nuclear plan ‘contradicts will of Belarusian people’: Tsikhanouskaya

Following Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia had struck an agreement to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, the Belarusian opposition leader in exile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, said the move “grossly contradicts the will of the Belarusian people,” further subjugating Belarus under Russian control.

Ukraine has responded to Putin’s plans, also condemned by NATO and Poland, by calling for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

Oleksiy Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, called the deal “a step towards internal destabilisation” of Belarus, saying in a Twitter post that "the Kremlin took Belarus as a nuclear hostage.”

Monday is day 397 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, president.gov.ua, The Guardian, Reuters