Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday night that Russia’s invasion has reached a “turning point,” as Russian forces launch attacks in the Donbas region of Ukraine while also bombarding Kyiv and other key cities.
What he’s saying: Zelensky noted during his televised address there’s an “ongoing negotiation process” with Russian officials, but “these are still words.” He said he had spoken with President Biden in the evening and thanked him for U.S.support, but made clear Ukrainian forces needed more military help.
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“If we really are fighting for freedom and in defense of democracy together, then we have a right to demand help in this difficult turning point,” Zelensky said, according to an AP translation .
“Tanks, aircraft, artillery systems.Freedom should be armed no worse than tyranny.”
Of note: Zelensky asked Australian officials for armored vehicles and tighter sanctions on Russia when he addressed the country’s Parliament via video link on Thursday, and thanked the country for the assistance it had already provided.
Meanwhile, Zelensky revealed in his national address that he had recalled Ukraine’s ambassadors to Georgia and Morocco.
“With all due respect: if there are no weapons, no sanctions, no restrictions for Russian business — please look for another job,” he said, suggesting they had failed to lobby those countries to take tougher action against Moscow.
State of play: As the war entered its sixth week, Ukrainian officials reported Russian forces intensifing attacks on Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv — despite pledges to scale back military operations in order to potentially reach a peace deal with Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video translated by the Guardian that officials had sent “45 buses to the Mariupol corridor.”
Story continues The International Red Cross Committee told Ukrainian officials that the Kremlin had agreed to “open access for the humanitarian convoy” to the besieged southeastern port city.
The U.K.Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update Thursday that heavy fighting continued in Mariupol, “a key objective of Russian forces,” but Ukrainian forces remained in control of the center of the city.
What to watch: Negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian officials were due to restart on Friday via video link, Ukrainian officials said, per AP.
Go deeper: Dashboard: Russian invasion of Ukraine
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include details of Zelensky’s address to Australia’s Parliament.
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