Final stage of reign but still has room for…: Zelensky on Vladimir Putin as Russia steps up Ukraine attacks

  • Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian President Vladimir Putin is in the final stage of his reign but still has room for further escalation

Livemint
First Published11 Oct 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv(AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is in the final stage of his reign but still has room for further escalation in the war on Ukraine. Addressing the G7 leaders on Tuesday following two days of widespread aerial strikes by Russia on cities across Ukraine, Zelensky said Vladimir Putin still had "room for escalation".

Referring to Vladimir Putin, Zelensky said, "The Russian leader, who is now in the final stage of his reign, still has room for further escalation." This is "a threat to all of us", he said.

Volodymyr Zelensky also called on his allies from the West to help Ukraine fund an air defence system after dozens of Russian attacks knocked out power facilities across the country.

"I am asking you to strengthen the overall effort to help financially with the creation of an air shield for Ukraine. Millions of people will be grateful to the Group of Seven for such assistance," Zelensky said during a video address to G7 leaders.

The Ukrainian leader said that his country had seen massive Russian missiles strikes for two days. Zelensky said the Russian forces fired more than 84 missiles on Monday and about 28 on Tuesday. Russia stepped up its attack on Ukraine after the Ukrainian forces blew up a Russian-built bridge connecting Crimea to Russian mainland.

But he also said those attacks had been augmented with "dozens of different drones". Zelensky also pointed to a heightened threat from Belarus and said Russia is seeking to drag its ally into the war, calling for international monitors to survey the Ukraine-Belarus border.

"Russia is trying to directly draw Belarus into this war, playing a provocation that we are allegedly preparing an attack on this country," Zelensky said, adding, “A mission of international observers may be stationed on the border of Ukraine and Belarus to monitor the security situation."

Russia used Belarus as a launching pad for its February 24 invasion and Minsk has raised fears it could directly intervene by announcing the deployment of a joint Russian-Belarusian force.

(With agency inputs)

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