Volodymyr Zelensky: transcript of video message as Ukrainian president accuses Russia of killing civilians
Ukraine’s president said the country will “not forgive” the attacks and criticised Western leaders for not responding to Russia’s plan to continue strikes on its defence ministry
President Zelensky has warned Russia there will be a “day of judgement” for the attacks on Ukraine (Photo: Getty Images)
Mr Zelensky issued a video statement on Sunday evening (6 March) after Russian forces increased their shelling across the country.
Efforts to evacuate 200,000 people from the city of Mariupol were blocked for a second consecutive day, while around eight civilians were killed when missiles struck the town of Irpin, on the northwest outskirts of the capital Kyviv, according to the local mayor.
The civilian death toll stands at 364, including more than 20 children, since Russia launched its invasion on 24 February, the United Nations said on Sunday.
However, Moscow has repeatedly denied launching attacks on civilians.
More than 1.5 million Ukrainian’s have now fled the country in what the UN has described as Europe’s fastest-moving refugee crisis since the end of World War Two.
Mr Zelensky said Ukraine will “not forgive” the attacks, but instead Russia will face “a day of judgement”.
The Ukrainian president also criticised Western leaders for failing to respond to an announcement by Russia’s defence ministry that it would continue its strikes on Ukraine’s defence industry on Monday (7 March).
Russia’s defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement on Sunday evening: “We urge all personnel of Ukrainian defence industry plants... to leave the territory of their enterprises."
Mr Zelensky hit out after the West did not respond, saying the message is a “clear signal to the West that the sanctions imposed on Russia are not sufficient.”
What did Zelensky say?
In his video message, Mr Zelensky said:
“We will not forgive the destroyed houses. We will not forgive the missile that our air defence shot down over Okhmatdyt today. And more than five hundred other such missiles that hit our land, all over Ukraine. Hit our people and children.
"We will not forgive the shooting of unarmed people. Destruction of our infrastructure. We will not forgive.
“Hundreds and hundreds of victims, thousands and thousands suffering.
“And God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never. And instead of forgiveness, there will be a day of judgement.
“It seems everything Russian servicemen have already done is still not enough for them. Not enough ruined destinies, mutilated lives - they want to kill even more.
“Tomorrow Russia has officially announced the shelling of our territory, our enterprises, defence complex.
“Most were built decades ago by the Soviet government, built in cities. And now they are in the middle of an ordinary urban environment.
“Thousands of people work there, hundreds of thousands live nearby.
“This is murder, deliberate murder. And I have not heard a reaction from any world leader today, from any Western politician, reaction to this announcement.
“Think about the sense of impunity of the invaders. They announce their planned atrocities. Why? Because there is no reaction. Because there is silence.
“Not a word, as if Western leaders have dissolved tonight. For this day, I hope that at least tomorrow you will notice it.
“The audacity of the aggressor is a clear signal to the West that sanctions against Russia are not enough, because they didn’t understand, did not feel, they did not see that the world is really determined, really determined to stop this war.
“You will not hide from this reality. You will not hide from new murders in Ukraine.
“A family was killed in Irpin today. A man, a woman and two children right on the road. As in the shooting club. When they were just trying to get out of town, to escape. The whole family.
“How many families like this have died in Ukraine? We will not forgive. We will not forget.
“We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war, on our land.
“We will find every bastard who shot at our cities, our people, who bombed our land, who launched rockets, who gave the order and pressed ‘start’.
“There will be no quiet place on this earth for you, except for the grave.”
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