Ukrainian President says his country 'left alone' to fight Russia; claims enemy marked him as 'target no. 1'

WION Web Team
Kiev, Ukraine Updated: Feb 25, 2022, 09:09 AM(IST)

(File photo) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Photograph:( AFP )

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According to Zelensky, 137 Ukrainians, both military and civilian, have been killed and another 316 have been wounded since the attack began early Thursday morning

Disclaimer: A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While WION takes utmost care to accurately report this developing news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that his country had been left on its own to fight Russia following the Kremlin's large-scale invasion which killed 130 Ukrainians on the first day.

"We have been left alone to defend our state," Zelenisky declared in a video address to the nation made at the end of the first day of the Russian attack. 

"Who is ready to fight alongside us? I don't see anyone. Who is ready to give Ukraine a guarantee of NATO membership? Everyone is afraid," he added. 

Also read | ‘No choice but to invade Ukraine to defend Russia’, says Vladimir Putin

According to Zelensky, 137 Ukrainians, both military and civilian, have been killed and another 316 have been wounded since the attack began early Thursday morning.

“Sadly, today we lost 137 heroes, our citizens. Ten of them were officers. 316 people have been wounded. Defending the Zmiinyi Island, all our border guards died a heroic death. But they have not surrendered. They will all be awarded posthumously the title of the Hero of Ukraine. Let those who gave their lives for Ukraine be remembered forever.”

Also read | Ukraine-Russia conflict: First pictures from ground zero

Zelensky also said that Russian "sabotage groups" had entered Kyiv, and urged residents to remain vigilant and observe curfews. 

The president added that he remained in Ukraine with his family despite Russia identifying him as "target number one". 

Watch | Russia-Ukraine conflict: Russian troops take over a key airbase located 38 KMs away from Kyiv

“I remain in the capital, my family is also in Ukraine, my children are in Ukraine. My family are not traitors, they are citizens of Ukraine. Where exactly they are I have no right to say. According to the information we have the enemy has marked me as target No 1, my family as target No 2."

"They want to destroy Ukraine politically by taking down the head of state," Zelensky said.

Earlier the Ukrainian President had said that there was now a "new iron curtain" between Russia and the rest of the world, like in the Cold War.

"What do we hear today? It's not just rocket explosions, combat and the roar of aircraft. This is the sound of a new iron curtain lowering and closing Russia off from the civilised world," he said in a video address. 

On Thursday, Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air, and sea. This is the largest military attack in Europe since World War II and confirms the worst fears of the West.

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