Ukraine calls for more weapons to prevent Russia’s ‘disaster’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walk down a street after a meeting, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 9, 2022. – Through the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Handout Reuters

KYIV – President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia’s aggression was not limited to Ukraine and was a goal for the whole of Europe because he called on the West to impose a complete ban on Russian energy products and to supply more weapons to Ukraine.

Ukraine says it is already preparing for a tough war with Russian forces, where the Ukrainian military says Russia wants to establish a land corridor from Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, and the eastern Donbass region, which is partly occupied by Moscow. -Supported separatists.

Mr Zelensky said in a speech late Saturday that Russia’s use of force was “a catastrophe that will inevitably hit everyone.”

“Russia’s aggression was not intended to be confined to Ukraine alone … the whole European project is Russia’s target,” he said.

Since the start of the February 24 invasion, Russia has failed to capture a major city and has retreated from near the capital, Kiev, instead building forces to the east.

“Russia may still be in a quandary and may bring new troops and new equipment to our land,” Mr Zelensky said.

“And that means we need more sanctions and even more weapons for our state.”

Some of the eastern cities are under heavy shelling and thousands of people have not been able to evacuate.

“It will be a tough fight, we believe in this fight and our victory. We are ready to fight at the same time and find a diplomatic way to end this war, “said Mr Zelensky.

Ukrainian negotiator Mikhailo Podoliak has said Mr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not meet until Russia is defeated.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Kiev Zelensky on Saturday and promised armored vehicles and an anti-ship missile system with additional support for a World Bank loan.

Britain will impose sanctions on Russia and will abstain from using Russian hydrocarbons.

“Other democracies in the West should follow the example of Great Britain,” Mr Jelensky told reporters after meeting with Mr Johnson. “Now is the time to impose a complete embargo on Russian energy supplies and increase our supply of weapons.”

Mr Johnson said in order to secure support for Ukraine, it would “never again be threatened, never blackmailed, and never again threatened”.

Mr Johnson was the last foreign leader to visit Kyiv after Russian troops withdrew from the area.

These visits are a sign that Kyiv is returning to normalcy.

Some residents are returning and cafes and restaurants are reopening. Italy has said it plans to reopen its embassy this month.

‘Never Forget’
Earlier, Ukrainian officials called on civilians to flee after a missile struck a train station with a crowd of women, children and the elderly on Friday.

Ukrainian officials say more than 50 people have been killed in an attack in the Donetsk region of Kramatorsk, where thousands have gathered to evacuate.

Russia has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia’s intelligence have been made more than once. The United States has said it believes Russian forces were responsible.

Reuters could not verify the details of the attack.

Russia’s aggression has left a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people homeless, devastated cities and killed or injured thousands.

Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko said he expected only 50,000 to 60,000 of the city’s 220,000 people to be evacuated.

Ukraine said 4,532 people had been evacuated from its cities on Saturday, up from 6,665 the previous day.

The civilian casualties have sparked a wave of international condemnation, particularly in the northwestern city of Bucha, where hundreds of deaths have been reported since Russian forces took over until last week.

“We will never forget what we saw here, it will stay with us for the rest of our lives,” said Bohdan Jubchuk, a city community police officer.

British military intelligence says Russia’s retreat from the capital has “proportionately” targeted civilians.

Russia has denied targeting civilians as part of a “special operation” to disarm and “exclude” its southern neighbor. Ukraine and the West have dismissed it as a baseless pretext for war.

The European Union (EU) on Friday imposed new sanctions on Russia, including on imports of coal, timber, chemicals and other commodities. Oil and gas imports from Russia remain unchanged.

Ukraine on Saturday banned all imports from Russia, a major trading partner before the war, with annual imports worth about $ 6 billion.

“The enemy’s budget will not receive these funds, which would reduce the likelihood of financing the war,” Economy Minister Yulia Sviridenko wrote on her Facebook page. – Reuters

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