Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to take a shot at Democrat President Joe Biden for not doing more to assist Ukraine as it fought back an invasion from Russia.
“This morning we are defending our state alone. Like yesterday, the world’s most powerful forces are watching from afar,” he said. “Did yesterday’s sanctions convince Russia? We hear in our sky and see on our earth that this was not enough.”
Zelensky’s comments come as Biden said on Thursday that “no one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening.”
Zelensky added in-part during a speech:
We are left alone in defense of our state. Who is ready to fight with us? Honestly – I do not see such. Who is ready to guarantee Ukraine’s accession to NATO? Honestly, everyone is afraid. … I tell all the partners of our state: now is an important moment – the fate of our country is being decided. I ask them: are you with us? They answer that they are with us. But they are not ready to take us to the Alliance. Today, I asked the twenty-seven leaders of Europe whether Ukraine will be in NATO. I asked directly. Everyone is afraid. They do not answer.
And we are not afraid of anything. We are not afraid to defend our state. We are not afraid of Russia. We are not afraid to talk to Russia. We are not afraid to say everything about security guarantees for our state. We are not afraid to talk about neutral status. We are not in NATO now. But the main thing – what security guarantees will we have? And what specific countries will give them?
During the early morning hours on Thursday, Zelensky said that he would arm anyone who wanted to fight back against the Russians.
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” Zelensky said in a statement. “We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defense with weapons in hands.”
Russia pressed deep into Ukraine late on Thursday and into Friday morning as the fighting reached near the outskirts of the country’s capital city of Kyiv. Kyiv was the target of numerous missile attacks throughout the night — which saw a fighter explode in the sky after getting hit.
The Washington Post reported:
An air raid siren went off about 7 a.m. local time and at least one residential building in the capital caught fire after being hit by rocket debris, Kyiv’s mayor said. Multiple explosions were heard earlier in the day. Sirens were also heard in Lviv, in Ukraine’s far west and near NATO’s eastern flank. A senior Ukrainian defense official said Russian forces were near the town of Vorzel, some 20 miles to Kyiv’s northwest.
Biden administration officials told lawmakers late Thursday that they feared the capital would soon fall, with Russian mechanized forces — that had crossed over from Belarus — on its outskirts. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that he remained in Kyiv, though enemy “sabotage groups” were in the capital.
“Ukrainian defense officials said Friday morning that multiple missile strikes had hit Kyiv, but the targets and the damage inflicted remained unclear,” The New York Times reported.
“They say that civilian objects are not a target for them,” Zelensky said in a televised address. “It is a lie, they do not distinguish in which areas to operate.”