World Ukraine President Zelensky Is Ready for War With Russia, Vows to 'Stand to the Last Man'
Is Russia moving towards war with Ukraine?
Russia is amassing troops and weaponry near Ukraine’s eastern border, a move some say is a strategic show of force.Asked why it amassed 40,000 troops, armoured personnel carriers, tanks and artillery near Ukraine’s eastern border and another 40,000 servicemen in annexed Crimea in recent weeks, Moscow “refused to provide substantial information”, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday night and warned his citizens that the country would "stand to the last man" in the event of a war with Russia, as tensions continue to build along the border between the two nations.
"Does Ukraine want war? No. Is it ready for it? Yes," Zelensky said during a Tuesday address, according to The New York Times." Our principle is simple: Ukraine does not start a war first, but Ukraine always stands to the last man."
Russia Labels U.S. an 'Adversary' As Tensions Rise Over Troop Buildup by Ukraine
Sergei Ryabkov's comments come after Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Moscow about acting "recklessly."In a departure from the Kremlin's usual description of the U.S. as a "partner"—however fraught that partnership might be—Sergei Ryabkov's comments follow a warning by Secretary of State Antony Blinken that "there would be consequences" if Moscow "acts recklessly" in Ukraine.
Zelensky's statements come on the eve of Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual state of the union address Wednesday. During his speech, Zelensky addressed Putin directly, urging him to meet for a peace summit in Donbas, a war-torn region where Ukraine's military has battled Russian-backed separatists for years.
"It is impossible to bring peace on a tank," Zelensky said in Russian, before adding: "I am ready to invite you to meet anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbas where there is war."
So far, the U.S. andhave employed with at least two warships in the Black Sea, The Hill reported, due to increasing tensions between the two nations.
In recent days, Russia has amassed the, raising concerns that the country may plan to invade. Tensions between the two nations have since reached their highest levels since 2014, when Russia and large-scale fighting broke out in the country's east. That conflict has already cost nearly 14,000 lives.
Why Putin may not be planning invasion Ukraine fears
President Biden's proposal for a summit with Russia's leader means the risk of an escalation has faded.As the hostile rhetoric and military moves around Ukraine have intensified, Western politicians have begun fearing an open invasion and urging Russia's Vladimir Putin to "de-escalate".
Russian troops now number at least 40,000 in Crimea, with another 40,000 in regions along the border, which equates to roughly 10 percent of the country's entire military force,News reported last week.
On April 15, Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned that if Russia crosses the 'red line,' that
U.S. Secretary of Stateadded last week that Russia's presence in the area has raised serious concerns in both Ukraine and the West.
"We're now seeing the largest concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine's borders since 2014,"on April 13."That is a deep concern not only to Ukraine but to the United States and indeed to many of our allies and partners."
Later that day, Presidentcalled on Russia to "de-escalate tensions" during a call with Russian President . He also "emphasized the United States' unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity,"
Russia ‘threatening Ukraine with destruction’, Kyiv says
Foreign minister’s comments come as his counterparts from the Baltic nations visit Kyiv in a show of solidarity.Fighting has intensified in recent weeks in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where government forces have battled Russian-backed separatists since April 2014 after the rebels seized a swath of territory there.
The Biden administration also moved last week tofor the SolarWinds hack of U.S. government agencies and interference in the 2020 election.
Russia has so far denied plans to start a military conflict with Ukraine, and has instead accused western media of falsely raising tensions.
"The Ukrainian and Western media are blowing the issue of Russian military activity near the border with Ukraine out of proportion," said spokeswoman Maria Zakharova last week, according to The Hill.
Duringon Wednesday, Putin accused Western countries of trying to "impose their will on others by force."
"I hope that no one will think of crossing the 'red line' in relation to Russia, which we ourselves will define in each specific case," the Russian president said, adding that: "Russia's response will be swift, asymmetrical and severe."
Newsweek contacted the White House for additional comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.
Ukraine: No military truce for Easter Orthodox in Donbass .
© Via Reuters - Ukrainian Presidential Press Ser The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits the positions of the armed forces near the front line with separatists supported by Russia in The Donbass Region, Ukraine, April 8, 2021. In Ukraine, the situation remains very tense despite the announcement last week of Russia from the withdrawal of its troops that were massed on the Ukrainian border.