KYIV, Ukraine — As Russian troops besiege Kyiv, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared on camera again on Saturday to provide evidence of his continued presence in his country’s capital, praising his army outgunned and outnumbered and implore Western countries for more support.
“We resisted and successfully repelled enemy attacks,” Zelensky said in a video posted around noon local time, the last of several speeches he has published. “Fighting continues in many cities and districts in our state, but we know we are protecting the country, the land, the future of the children.”
He said the Ukrainian military still controlled the capital and nearby key towns.
“The occupiers wanted to blockade the seat of power of our state and set up their puppets here,” he said.
“We spoiled their plans, they didn’t get any advantage over us,” he added in Ukrainian. “The enemy used everything against us: missiles, fighters, drones, artillery, armored vehicles, saboteurs, landing. Occupiers strike residential areas with jet artillery, attempting to destroy energy installations. They have very vile tactics.
Mr Zelensky again called on the European Union to make progress towards Ukraine’s accession. The European Union offered the country financial aid and imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials, banks and companies in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
“The Ukrainian people have already earned and have the right to become a member of the European Union,” he said.
And he urged Ukrainians at home and abroad to fight for their country.
“Every Ukrainian should remember one thing – if you can stop and destroy the occupiers – do it!” he said. “Anyone who can go back to Ukraine, come back and defend Ukraine.”
He added: “Everyone can defend Ukraine from abroad, do it constantly, with perseverance and together. All friends of Ukraine who want to join the defense — come. We will give you a weapon.
Towards the end of the video, Mr. Zelensky switched to Russian to thank Russian civilians who protested the war. More than 1,800 Russians were arrested Thursday during protests across the country. He called on Russians to oppose the war to avoid a dramatic loss of life.
He called the Russian soldiers who had invaded “thousands of victims, prisoners who simply cannot understand why they were sent to Ukraine, sent to Ukraine to die, to kill others”.
“The sooner you tell your government that the war must end immediately, the longer your people will survive,” he said.
He urged all Russians to “just arrest those who lie, lie to you, lie to us, lie to everyone, to the whole world. We must end this war. We can live in peace, in world peace.