As a war commences in Ukraine, with Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing a “military operation" on Thursday and calling on soldiers there to lay down their arms, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed his nation, and also addressed Russians while speaking in Russian. His speech is being touted as “heartbreaking" and “moving" and excerpts from it are going viral on social media as the global population stares at a war of catastrophic potential. Zelensky’s speech rang out as a message of peace in this dire situation. As per a translation by Anton Troianovski, a journalist at New York Times, Zelenskyy said in his address to Russians, “Listen to the voice of reason. The people of Ukraine want peace, the authorities in Ukraine want peace… We don’t need war." He adds that if Ukraine is attacked, the country would not be attacking but defending itself.
“By attacking, you will see our faces, not our backs, but our faces," Zelensky’s speech further reads. He goes on to add, “War means ‘pain, mud, blood and the death of thousands- tens of thousands of deaths." A Twitter user shared the transcript, writing, “Zelensky’s live address to the Russian people is as amazing as it is heartbreaking."
Zelensky's live address to the Russian people is as amazing as it is heartbreaking(Translation by @antontroian) pic.twitter.com/OhxBgkupzo
— Max Fras (@maxfras) February 23, 2022
Virtuosic Zelensky speech, addressed to Russians in Russian. "You've been told I'm going to bomb Donbass. Bomb what? The Donetsk stadium where the locals and I cheered for our team at Euro 2012? The bar where we drank when they lost? Luhansk, where my best friend's mom lives?"— Michael Idov (@michaelidov) February 23, 2022
“This is what President Zelensky is doing tonight. Talking human-to-human to his Russian neighbours. Read the thread. It’s an era-defining speech of trying to break through the fog of information war. And explain its consequences for the people of both Ukraine & Russia," wrote Carole Cadwalladr.
This is what President Zelensky is doing tonight. Talking human-to-human to his Russian neighbours. Read the thread. It’s an era-defining speech of trying to break through the fog of information war. And explain its consequences for the people of both Ukraine & Russia2/ https://t.co/nqk3AHqkgJ— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) February 23, 2022
The word "TikTokers" made it into Zelensky's speech about an imminent Russian invasion https://t.co/qklxp7Gsxr— Populism Updates (@PopulismUpdates) February 23, 2022
It's not about Russian speakers vs Ukrainian speakers. In fact Zelensky is a native Russian speaker. Shared culture should be a balm that promotes neighborly amity, not an excuse to invade. Read his whole speech: https://t.co/7lbdnADKFR— Angelica Stealth Mode Arc (@itsangelica235) February 24, 2022
History will remember Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech. My heart aches, but I am proud of him right now. #StandWithUkraine
— Natalia Antonova 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@NataliaAntonova) February 23, 2022
The warnings given earlier by the US and the western leaders turned out to be true when Russian president Vladimir Putin early Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine. Putin also warned the western world against interference and said that upon interference they will face ‘consequences’ they have never experienced before.
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