Ukraine conflict: President Zelensky calls for protests to mark one month of war

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked people around the world to take to the streets in a show of support for Ukraine to mark one month of the Russian invasion

Thursday, 24th March 2022, 10:28 am

The president, presenting his nightly address in English for the first time in a clear message to Western leaders and nations, called for global protests as a show of support for Ukraine.

In a video address shot near the presidential offices in Kyiv that the war "breaks my heart, the hearts of all Ukrainians and every free person on the planet".

He called for people to visibly show their support for Ukraine starting from Thursday, exactly one month after Russia launched its invasion saying: "Come from your offices, your homes, your schools and universities. Come in the name of peace. Come with Ukrainian symbols to support Ukraine, to support freedom, to support life.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on people around the world to come "to your squares, your streets" to stand with Ukraine and against the war on Thursday. Photo by Behrouz Mehri - Getty Images

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"Come to your squares, your streets. Make yourselves visible and heard. Say that people matter. Freedom matters. Peace matters. Ukraine matters."

His calls for protest came ahead of a G7, Nato and European Union summit later today, one month into the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden will be joining European leaders at the summit and is expected to announce a raft of new sanctions against Russia, with Nato members expected to ramp up military forces in Eastern Europe.

Mr Zelensky called on the alliance to provide "effective and unrestricted" support to Ukraine, including any weapons the country needs to fend off the Russian invasion.

"We ask that the alliance declare that it will fully assist Ukraine to win this war, clear our territory of the invaders and restore peace in Ukraine," he said.

He appealed to Western countries to stay united in the face what he says are Russia's efforts to "lobby its interests" with "some partners" to bring them over to its side.

"We will see who is a friend, who is a partner and who has sold out and betrayed us," he said in an emotional speech. "Together we should not allow Russia to break anyone in Nato, the EU or G7, to break them and drag them to the side of war."

Mr Zelensky will speak to the Nato summit by video.