By Ewan Palmer, Newsweek, shared by MSN News
UKRAINIAN President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed that 16,000 foreign volunteers have arrived to assist with their fight against Russia.
In a March 3 video address one week into the conflict, Zelensky reiterated how Ukraine is prepared to continue to stand up against Russia’s attacks and has now “started welcoming foreign volunteers” who are coming to the country to join the war.
Zelensky added Ukraine has also been receiving weapons every day from its international allies to assist with the conflict.
“The first of 16,000 are coming to defend the liberty and life of us and of everyone. I’m sure it will be successful,” Zelensky said, via Associated Press.
The comments arrived days after Ukraine announced it was setting up an “International Legion of Territorial Defence of Ukraine” for foreign volunteers who are willing to help the country in its war with Russia.
“Together we defeated Hitler, and we will defeat [Vladimir] Putin too,” Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, tweeted on February 27 while confirming the plans.
Elsewhere during what was yet another emotional speech, Zelensky said Russia’s military targeting Ukraine’s cities with missiles and bombs is “acknowledgment that they couldn’t achieve anything significant” with fighting on the ground.
“The enemy doesn’t have success at any strategic directions,” he said. “They are disappointed and lost. Kyiv has lived through this night and another missile bombing hit.”
Zelensky said Ukraine’s efforts in fighting against Russia have only become stronger and that they will continue to stand up to its neighbour.
“The first hours and days of this great war were very difficult, but we were alone, which means we were very strong and survived,” Zelensky said.
“We will continue to do this and we will continue to stand,” he added: “They were oppressed. They are doomed.”
Zelensky also promised to “rebuild every house, every street, every city” when the conflict ends and that Russia will “pay back the full price for everything” it has destroyed during the invasion.
The Ukrainian president also vowed that Ukraine will survive the war, as it already lived through other disasters and tragedies such as both world wars, the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the Holodomor famine, Reuters reported.
“We don’t have the biggest territory…we don’t have nuclear arms, we don’t provide oil and gas to international markets. But we do have our people. We do have our land. This is what we are fighting for,” he said.
In a message to Putin, Zelensky also urged the Russian president to “go home, to your home, protect your Russian-speaking people.”
He added: “Not all over the world—but in your own home. There are many of them there, some 150 million. As for here—Glory to Ukraine!”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: Newsweek