Zelensky calls for national Day of Unity as invasion tensions heighten
With the prospect of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine looming, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation in a video published via the Telegram instant messenger service on Feb. 14, in which he called for Ukrainians to show “unity and resolve.”
“(They are trying) to scare us with war and picking a date for a military invasion, again,” Zelensky said.
“But our state is stronger than ever.”
The president said that Feb. 16 – the date on which it is speculated that the Kremlin plans to begin the invasion – will be declared Unity Day in Ukraine.
“The corresponding executive order has already been signed; on that day we will fly our national flags, wear blue-and-yellow ribbons, and show our unity to the whole world,” he said in the address.
According to Zelensky, Ukrainians are united by their common European aspirations.
“We seek freedom, and are ready to fight for it,” the president added.
“We have never known how to surrender, and we are not about to learn (how to do it) now.”
Potential Russian invasion of Ukraine
Russia currently has 140,000 troops and equipment stationed around Ukraine’s borders, including the northern Belarusian border and in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and the Donbas. While it has officially denied plans to invade, it has also refused to provide any guarantees to the contrary, and continues to mobilize its forces on the Ukrainian border.
U.S. media outlet Politico reported that U.S. President Joe Biden has briefed Washington’s NATO and EU allies on Moscow’s plans to invade Ukraine on Feb. 16.
The Kremlin responded by accusing foreign media of a “large-scale misinformation campaign.”
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