Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky struck a defiant tone in his night address on Wednesdayaccusing Russian troops of trying to hide evidence of war crimes and asking its allies to find the determination – to borrow it if necessary – to take tougher measures against Moscow.
“Russian forces have changed their tactics and are trying to clear the killed people from the streets and cellars of the occupied territory,” said Mr. Zelensky. They wouldn’t be able to hide evidence, he said, “because they killed a lot. Responsibility cannot be avoided.”
As he has so often in recent weeks, Mr. Zelensky addressed the Russian people directly, calling on them to demand an end to the war if they felt “even a little embarrassed” about Russian troops killing civilians in Ukraine.
Mr Zelensky also welcomed a new set of sanctions against Russia from the European Union and the United States, but said his administration would continue to push for a complete international blockade of the Russian banking system and a total ban on Russian oil imports.
He denounced Western allies for continuing to debate how such measures could be taken without endangering their own economies.
“That’s why people go into politics. To solve such problems, difficult tasks. To solve them quickly and in a principled way,” he said. “If you’re not able, you shouldn’t have started political activity.”
While talks with the European Union so far have suggested that an agreement to extend a ban on Russian coal to oil and gas would be difficult, Mr Zelensky said he was convinced it was inevitable.
†The only question is how many Ukrainian men and women will the Russian army have time to kill so that you, some politicians – and we know you – somewhere can lend a little determination,” he said.
The European Union was expected to continue talks on Thursday over the latest round of sanctions, which, if approved, would be the strictest the bloc has imposed since the invasion.
SOURCE – www.nytimes.com