Zelensky: Russians 'Gave Us a Maximum of 5' Days

And yet Thursday marked day 50
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 15, 2022 4:33 AM CDT
Zelensky Praises Ukrainians After 50 Days of War
In this photo provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian navy missile cruiser Moskva is on patrol in the Mediterranean Sea near the Syrian coast on Dec. 17, 2015.   (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

President Volodymyr Zelensky told Ukrainians on Thursday they should be proud of having survived 50 days under Russian attack when the Russians "gave us a maximum of five." In his late-night video address, Zelensky called it "an achievement of millions of Ukrainians, of everyone who on Feb. 24 made the most important decision of their life—to fight." Zelensky gave an extensive and almost poetic listing of the many ways in which Ukrainians have helped to fend off the Russian troops, including "those who showed that Russian warships can sail away, even if it’s to the bottom" of the sea, his only reference to the sinking of the Moskva, Russia's Black Sea flagship, the AP reports.

The guided-missile cruiser, named for the Russian capital, sank while being towed to port after suffering heavy damage under circumstances that remain in dispute. Ukrainian officials said their forces struck the warship with missiles on Thursday. Moscow acknowledged a fire on board but not any attack. In his address, Zelensky said he remembered the first day of the invasion when many world leaders, unsure whether Ukraine could survive, advised him to leave the country. "But they didn’t know how brave Ukrainians are, how much we value freedom and the possibility to live the way we want," Zelensky said.

Russia’s defense ministry, meanwhile, threatened to ramp up missile attacks on the Ukrainian capital in response to Ukraine's alleged military "diversions on the Russian territory." The threat of intensified attacks on Kyiv came after Russian authorities accused Ukraine of launching airstrikes on residential buildings in Bryansk, a region that borders Ukraine. Russia said its missiles hit a factory in Kyiv overnight, destroying its capacity to build anti-ship missiles and air defense systems, the BBC reports. (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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