On Wednesday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky released a new video for the Ukrainian people. For the first time, the one-minute-and-fifty-three-second video was in English, a sign that it was intended for an international audience.
What follows is a paraphrase of his remarks: “The War of Russia is not just about the conflict against Ukraine. Its significance is far broader. Russians started the war against freedom in the form it is; however, this is just the beginning of Russia in the Ukrainian territory. Russia is trying to destroy the freedoms of all the people of Europe as well as all people all over the globe. It is trying to prove that only brutal and crude force is important. It wants to show that people are not important and neither [are] the other elements that make us humans. This is the reason why we must all end [the] Russian [conflict]. All of humanity needs to stop the conflict. I am grateful to everyone who works to support Ukraine to promote freedom. However, the war goes on. The acts of terror against peaceful people continue for a month. This long. It hurts my heart, for all Ukrainians as well as every human being who is free. This is why I am asking [you] to join me in fighting the conflict.
“From March 24th, [a month]…following…the Russian invasion [on February 24]. Since that day and even following it, you must show your status. Leave your offices and homes, as well as your universities and your schools. Bring your support in the name [of] peace. Wear Ukrainian symbols to show your support for Ukraine as well as to stand up for the freedom of life, to defend it. Go to your squares and your streets. Be visible and heard. Let people know that freedom is important. Peace is important. Ukraine will be a focal point from March 24 in the downtowns of your cities. They are all together, with those who desire. Stop the conflict.”
Zelensky has been increasingly visible in recent days as Russia has changed its strategy to targeting civilians in an attempt to undermine Ukrainian determination. His call came on the day before the NATO summit in Brussels, which US President Joseph Biden is attending. During the summit, Poland plans to discuss the possibility of a NATO-sponsored peacekeeping force in order to bring an end to the war, even in the event that the West is hesitant to travel across the border into Ukraine for fear that Russia could deploy chemical and/or nuclear weapons.