With his life on the line every day his country fights back against Russian forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is angry that Western nations want to avoid alienating Russian leader Vladimir Putin while also backing Ukraine.
NATO leaders on Friday said that establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as Zelenskyy has begged for, would be a step too far in putting the West on Putin’s list of enemies.
On Saturday, Putin explicitly said that any country that stands with Ukraine to support it in the skies would be considered an enemy.
Zelenskyy said Ukrainians will die because of the temporizing and half-measures of NATO members that fear Putin more than they support freedom, according to Axios.
Ukrainians crowd under a destroyed bridge as they try to flee crossing the Irpin river in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022. pic.twitter.com/4OUFbemLXJ
— Emilio Morenatti (@EmilioMorenatti) March 5, 2022
The “narrative” that supporting a no-fly zone leads directly to Russian aggression on their own counties is the “self-hypnosis of those who are weak, under-confident inside,” Zelenskyy said.
“All the people who will die starting from this day will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your disunity,” he continued.
Zelenskyy sought to portray the need for a no-fly zone in the stark terms of Ukrainian survival, saying the NATO summit was a “weak summit, confused summit, summit which shows that not everyone considers the struggle for freedom to be Europe’s number one goal.”
“Unfortunately, today there is a complete impression that it is time to give a funeral repast for something else: security guarantees and promises, determination of alliances, values that seem to be dead for someone.”
This is #Vinnitsya airport. Destroyed today by 8 Russian missiles.
— Kira Rudik (@kiraincongress) March 6, 2022
Zelenskyy noted that an alliance formed to deter Soviet aggression now has the chance to do that, but will not fully support his countrymen.
“Is this the NATO we wanted? Is this the alliance you were building? … You will not be able to buy us off with liters of fuel for liters of our blood, shed for our common Europe, for our common freedom, for our common future,” he said, noting the supplies nations have sent to Ukraine.
While calling for every ounce of aid his country can secure, Zelenskyy noted he knows Ukraine has relied on allies to survive this long.
“There are many countries … who help our state no matter what, from the first day of the invasion and — I’m sure — until the victory. And that’s why we do not feel alone,” Zelenskyy said.
On Sunday, Zelenskyy noted that Russian air superiority allows it to destroy Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, after the city of Vinnytsia, in western Ukraine, was targeted.
‼️ Urgent appeal by President @ZelenskyyUa: a missile strike on #Vinnytsia consisted of eight missiles; the airport is completely destroyed.
The President called on the world to close the skies over #Ukraine and provide Ukraine with aircraft. pic.twitter.com/0s8nUneRZP
— Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (@ua_parliament) March 6, 2022
“A brutal, cynical missile strike has completely destroyed the airport. They continue total destruction of our infrastructure,” Zelenskyy said, according to UPI.
“We repeat every day: ‘Close the sky over Ukraine!’ Close it for all Russian missiles, Russian combat aircraft, for all these terrorists,” he said, calling for the skies to be “without rockets, without air bombs.”
“We are people, and it is your humanitarian duty to protect us, protect people, and you can do it,” Zelenskyy said. “If you do not do that, if you at least do not give us aircraft for us to be able to protect ourselves, there can be only one conclusion: You also want us to be slowly killed.”
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