Ukraine’s Zelensky slams European ‘indecisiveness’ over Russia sanctions

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday. AP

Gulf Today Report

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday condemned hesitancy in Europe over barring Russian energy imports, arguing some leaders were more concerned with business losses than with war crimes.

New “rhetoric” about sanctions had emerged, he told the Irish parliament, “but I cannot tolerate any indecisiveness after everything we have gone through and everything that Russia has done to us”.


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Zelensky said he could not tolerate any indecisiveness from Western countries on imposing new sanctions on Russia, in an address to Ireland’s parliament on Wednesday.

“When we are hearing new rhetoric about sanctions… I can’t tolerate any indecisiveness after everything that Russian troops have done,” he told a rare joint sitting of both houses of parliament by video link, calling on Ireland to convince its EU partners to introduce more rigid sanctions.

Speaking via an interpreter, Zelenskiy said Ukraine civilian infrastructure, including a fuel depot, were hit by Russian missiles overnight and accused Moscow of deliberately provoking a food crisis by using hunger as a “weapon”.

Russia has denied targeting civilians in what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.


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Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the United Nations Security Council via video link on Tuesday.  AFP

Earlier, Ukraine’s president told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the Russian military must be brought to justice immediately for war crimes, accusing invading troops of the worst atrocities since World War II.

Zelensky, making his plea via video, cited reported atrocities against civilians carried out by Russian forces in the town of Bucha on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv, saying they are no different than other terrorists like the Daesh group.

Images of slain bodies on the ground, particularly from the town of Bucha, have stirred global revulsion and led to demands for tougher sanctions and war crime prosecutions against Russia.
 

Horrific images of corpses lying in the streets, some with their hands bound behind them, have drawn international condemnation of Russia.

Videos and photos of streets in the town of Bucha strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians, some with their hands tied behind their back, have led to global revulsion, calls for tougher sanctions on Russia and its suspension from the UN’s premier human rights body, the Human Rights Council.

 

Russia-Ukraine-War-bodies-main1-750 A lifeless body of a man with his hands tied behind his back lies on the pavement in Bucha. AP

It has denied responsibility and suggested the images are fake or that the deaths occurred after Russian forces pulled out of the area.

But newly released satellite photographs taken by Maxar Technologies in mid-March, before the Russian withdrawal, showed what appeared to be bodies in some of the same places they were later found by Ukrainian troops and seen by journalists.

On Monday, wearing body armour and visibly distressed, Zelensky spent half an hour in Bucha, where he blamed Russian troops for the killings.

 

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A man walks past a body of civilian in the town of Bucha, near Kyiv on Sunday. AFP



 

“These are war crimes and it will be recognised by the world as genocide,” he said.

Later in his nightly address, he demanded “the sanctions response to Russia’s massacre of civilians must finally be powerful”.

“But… did hundreds of our people have to die in agony for some European leaders to finally understand that the Russian state deserves the most severe pressure?” he asked in the video posted to Telegram.

He also called for additional weapons from Western allies, saying more equipment could have saved thousands.

“I do not blame you — I blame only the Russian military,” he said. “But you could have helped.”

 

 

 

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