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Zelensky says Ukraine will win over Russia
Journal Staff Report

KYIV, Sept 21 - Ukraines president implored the world Wednesday to punish Russia for its invasion, even as the leader vowed his forces would win back every inch of territory despite Moscows decision to redouble its war effort.

In a much-anticipated video address to the U.N. General Assembly hours after Russia announced it would mobilize some reservists, Volodymyr Zelensky portrayed the declaration as evidence the Kremlin wasnt ready to negotiate an end to the war but insisted his country would prevail anyway.

We can return the Ukrainian flag to our entire territory. We can do it with the force of arms, the president said, according to The Associated Press. But we need time.

Putins decree Wednesday about the mobilization was sparse on details. Officials said as many as 300,000 reservists could be tapped. It was apparently an effort to seize momentum after a Ukrainian counteroffensive this month retook swaths of territory that Russians had held.

But the first such call-up in Russia since World War II also brought the fighting home in a new way for Russians and risked fanning domestic anxiety and antipathy toward the war. Shortly after Putins announcement, flights out of the country rapidly filled up, and more than 1,000 people were arrested at rare antiwar demonstrations across the country.

A day earlier, Russian-controlled parts of eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans for referendums on becoming parts of Russia. Ukrainian leaders and their Western allies consider the votes illegitimate.

Russia hasnt yet had its turn to speak at the gathering.

Putin, who is not attending the event, has said he sent his armed forces into Ukraine because of risks to his countrys security from what he considers a hostile government in Kyiv; to liberate Russians living in Ukraine especially its eastern Donbas region from what he views as the Ukrainian governments oppression; and to restore what he considers to be Russias historical territorial claims on the country.

Zelenskys speech was striking not only for its contents but also its context. It took place after the extraordinary mobilization announcement. It was the first time he addressed the worlds leaders gathered together since Russia invaded in February.

It wasnt delivered at the august rostrum where other presidents, prime ministers and monarchs speak but instead by video from a nation at war after Zelenskyy was granted special permission to not come in person.

He appeared as he has in many previous video appearances in an olive green T-shirt. He sat at a table with a Ukrainian flag behind his right shoulder and large image of the U.N. flag and Ukraines behind his left shoulder.

Zelenskys speech was one of the most keenly anticipated at international diplomacys most prominent annual gathering, which has dwelled this year on the war in his country. Officials from many countries are trying to prevent the conflict from spreading and to restore peace in Europe though diplomats do not expect any breakthroughs this week.

U.S. President Joe Bidens address, too, focused heavily on the war in Ukraine.

This war is about extinguishing Ukraines right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraines right to exist as a people. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should make your blood run cold, he said. If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences, then we put at risk everything this very institution stands for. Everything. (ap/ez)




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