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Zelenskyy calls for global demonstrations on one month anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine is accusing Russia of taking its residents
Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Posted at 9:14 AM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 12:32:46-04

LVIV, Ukraine — In a recorded video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for people worldwide to take to the streets in protest Thursday to mark one month since Russia invaded his country.

"From this day and after that, show your standing, come from your offices, your homes, your schools and universities, come in the name of peace, come with Ukrainian symbols to support Ukraine, to support freedom, to support life," Zelenskyy said. "Come to your squares, your streets, make yourselves visible and heard. Say that people matter, freedom matters, peace matters, Ukraine matters."

Zelenskyy delivered the remarks on the same day that he appeared via video to plead with NATO to provide his embattled nation with military assistance.

In a video address to the NATO summit Thursday, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine needs "military assistance without limitations," as Russia is "using its entire arsenal" against the country.

Zelenskyy urged NATO to provide Ukraine with "1% of all your planes, 1% of all your tanks."

"We can't just buy those," Zelenskyy said. "When we will have all this, it will give us, just like you, 100% security."

Ukraine is also in dire need of multiple launch rocket systems, anti-ship weapons and air defense systems, Zelenskyy said.

"Is it possible to survive in such a war without this?" he asked.

Zelenskyy said Russia used phosphorous bombs on Thursday morning, killing both adults and children. He reminded NATO leaders that thousands of Ukrainians have died in the past month, 10 million people have left their homes, and urged NATO to give "clear answers."

"It feels like we're in a gray area, between the West and Russia, defending our common values," Zelenskyy said emotionally. "This is the scariest thing during a war — not to have clear answers to requests for help."

Zelenskyy did not reiterate his request for a no-fly zone or ask to join NATO, according to a senior Biden administration official.

Zelesnkyy's comments came as U.S. President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders gathered in Brussels on the one-month anniversary of the Russian invasion. Biden is slated to address the NATO assembly later on Thursday.

In a video address to the U.S. Congress last week, Zelenskyy appealed to Biden directly for more assistance in English.

"You are the leader of the nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world is to be the leader of peace," he said.

Ukraine is also accusing Russia of forcibly relocating hundreds of thousands of residents to Russia from devastated Ukrainian cities so they can be used as “hostages” to pressure Kyiv to give up.

The claims could not be independently verified. Ukraine’s ombudsperson said Thursday that 402,000 people, including 84,000 children, have been taken to Russia, where some have reported shortages of food and water. Russia says that the people it is evacuating are civilians moving of their own free will.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s navy says it sank a large landing ship near the port city of Berdyansk that had been used to supply Russian forces with armored vehicles. And Russia claims to have taken the eastern town of Izyum after fierce fighting.