Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy turned down a U.S. request to evacuate the capital city of Kyiv Friday night — and he did it in his inimitable fashion, the Associated Press reported.
A senior intelligence official told the AP that Zelenskyy said, “I need ammunition, not a ride” when approached with the idea by members of President Joe Biden’s administration.
For those who have underestimated Zelenskyy — a former comedian who won the presidency on an anti-corruption platform after playing the president on TV — it’s worth noting this shows considerably more courage than we’ve seen from a Biden administration determined to look like it’s doing something, despite an underwhelming sanctions package that doesn’t hit Moscow where it hurts.
In particular, Biden refused to sanction Russia’s energy sector, the biggest segment of its economy.
This means Putin continues to have an energy stranglehold on Europe and can still rake in the profits — but it also means energy prices aren’t going to skyrocket and add to the administration’s inflation woes. Here at The Western Journal, we’re going to call the administration out if it’s more focused on winning the midterms than helping Ukraine win against Russia. You can help us bring America the truth by subscribing.
The AP reported on Zelenskyy’s rejection of the offer on Friday night U.S. time — Saturday Kyiv time — as street fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces was happening in the capital city.
“Saturday’s street clashes followed two days of massive air and missile strikes that Russian officials said targeted Ukrainian military facilities as their ground troops moved in from the north, east and south,” the AP reported.
“The assault pummeled bridges, schools and apartment buildings, and resulted in hundreds of casualties.”
Despite this, Zelenskyy said he would stay on.
“The fight is here,” an AP report said. “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
New @AP reporting tonight: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was asked to evacuate Kyiv at the behest of the U.S. government but turned down the offer. An American official tells me Zelenskyy said, “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.” pic.twitter.com/oSpa1vdX29
— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) February 26, 2022
Zelenskyy’s whereabouts have been kept a secret these past few days, as might be expected, given he’s apparently public enemy No. 1 of the Kremlin.
In a call with European Union leaders Thursday night, Zelenskyy told them they might not see him alive again.
However, a video posted to social media showed him outside the presidential office.
“We’re defending our independence and our country, and that’s how it’ll be,” he said, according to Financial Times Moscow bureau chief Max Seddon.
Zelensky posts a video showing him and his top allies in the Kyiv government district.
“We’re defending our independence and our country, and that’s how it’ll be.” pic.twitter.com/cdbMgEXBX1
— max seddon (@maxseddon) February 25, 2022
In a video address midnight Kyiv time, he warned Ukrainians there were hard times ahead as Russians prepared an assault on the capital.
“I must say quite frankly: This night will be harder than the day. Many cities of our nation are under attack: Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv … in the Donbas, the cities of southern Ukraine and, pay special attention to Kyiv. We cannot lose the capital,” he said, according to Politico.
“Tonight they will go on the offensive. We all understand what awaits us: tonight we must persevere. The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now.”
Zelensky warns Russia will storm Kyiv tonight in “vile, cruel and inhuman” fashion.
“We have to persevere tonight. The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now. The night will be hard, very hard, but there will be a morning, pic.twitter.com/8bioVWKDaA
— max seddon (@maxseddon) February 25, 2022
On Saturday morning, meanwhile, he posted video of himself near Gordosky House, a Kyiv landmark, assuring citizens he was staying.
Не вірте фейкам. pic.twitter.com/wiLqmCuz1p
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 26, 2022
“Good morning, Ukrainians. Now there has been a lot of fake information on the internet that I’m ordering our army to lay down arms and evacuating,” he said, as per Politico.
“But it’s like this: I am here. Our weapons are our truth. What is true is that this is our land. Our country, Our children. And we will defend it all. There it is.”
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters that he believes Moscow’s offensive on Kyiv isn’t going as quickly as they had hoped, in part because of Ukrainian resistance. Hardly a surprise — given their president reportedly wants more ammo, not a ride out of the capital.
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