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Ukraine’s president says his country is committed to peace but ‘ready for everything.’

todayFebruary 22, 2022 8

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In a speech to the nation early Tuesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said that his country was “not afraid of anything” and called for international support as President Vladimir V. Putin ordered Russian military forces to deploy to two breakaway regions in Ukraine’s east.

Here are highlights of Mr. Zelensky’s comments:

  • “We and our state do not have time for long lectures on history,” he said, an apparent reference to assertions by Mr. Putin on Monday that Ukrainian statehood was a historical fiction. “I will not talk about the past. I will tell about realities and the future. Ukraine is behind me within its internationally recognized borders. And it will remain so. Despite any statements and actions of the Russian Federation.”

  • “We remain calm and confident. I want to thank all our citizens for this. You prove once again that Ukrainians are a smart and wise nation. And in spite of everything — keeps a cool head, reacts calmly, balanced, as adults. We have been ready for everything for a long time.”

  • “Ukraine unequivocally qualifies the recent actions of the Russian Federation as a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state. All responsibility for the consequences of these decisions lies with Russia’s political leadership.”

  • “We expect clear support steps and effective support steps from our partners. It is very important to see now who is our true friend and partner.”

  • “There is currently no reason for chaotic action. We will do everything to keep it that way in the future. We are committed to a peaceful and diplomatic path.”

  • “We are on our own land. We are not afraid of anything or anyone,” Mr. Zelensky said in closing comments that referenced Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. “We owe nothing to anyone and we will not give anything to anyone, and we are sure of that, because now is not February 2014, but February 2022 — another country, another army, one goal: peace, peace in Ukraine.”

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todayFebruary 22, 2022 1