Senior U.S. government officials to visit Kyiv, Zelenskyy says; Ukrainians in Lviv celebrate Easter

In his regular nightly address, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed comments made by a Russian military official on Friday.

Russia’s Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekayev had earlier disclosed that Moscow’s goal is to fully control Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region as well as southern Ukraine as part of the second phase of the invasion. It was, however, unclear if the comments reflected official policy from Russia.

Minnekayev claimed, without evidence, that the Russian-speaking population in Transnistria was being oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Russian forces have been stationed in Transnistria since the 1990s, and Kyiv has warned that Moscow could stage false flag operations there to justify an invasion.

Zelenskyy said late Friday that the comments meant that Russia had ambitions to invade other nearby nations. “The invasion of Ukraine is only the beginning. Then they want to invade other countries,” he said, according to a NBC News translation. 

“Of course, we will defend ourselves for as long as necessary in order to break this ambition of the Russian Federation. But all the peoples that believe in the victory of life over death like we do, have to fight alongside us, have to help us,” he added.

“Because it’s us who became the first ones on this path. But who is next? If those who can be next want to remain neutral today in order to not lose something, in reality it is the riskiest bet, because you will lose everything.” 

— Matt Clinch and Natasha Turak

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: