LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine’s defence lines were holding against the Russian attack, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his latest video on Thursday, adding there had been no respite in Moscow’s shelling of Ukraine since midnight.
“We have nothing to lose but our own freedom,” Zelenskiy said, adding Ukraine was receiving daily arms supplies from its international allies.
He said it had been two years since Ukraine recorded its first COVID-19 case: “It’s been a week now that another virus attacked,” he said of Russia’s invasion.
Zelenskiy said Russia’s changing tactics and shelling of civilians in cities proved Ukraine was successful in resisting Moscow’s initial plan of claiming a quick victory through a land assault.
He told Russia to study the word “reparations” as Kyiv would demand Moscow makes up for all it has destroyed in its invasion.
He also said Ukraine was paying out pensions and offering handouts to those unable to work because of the war. He said 16,000 foreigners volunteered to fight for Ukraine.
In an emotional speech, Zelenskiy said Ukrainians had lived through two world wars, the Holodomor famine, Holocaust, Soviet terror, the Chernobyl nuclear explosion as well as Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebels in the east.
“We don’t have the biggest territory … we don’t have nuclear arms, we don’t provide oil and gas to international markets. But we do have our people. We do have our land. This is what we are fighting for.”
Zelenskiy, in a message for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said: “Go save your own Russian speakers. Not all over the world – but in your own home. There are many of them there, some 150 million. As for here — Glory to Ukraine!”
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Pavel Polityuk, Matthias Williams, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Alison Williams)