Zelensky says Russia aims to destroy the region of Donbas, vows to defend it

  April 18, 2022   News ID 6533
Zelensky says Russia aims to destroy the region of Donbas, vows to defend it
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of wanting to "destroy" the entire eastern region of Donbas, as the last remaining forces in the strategic port of Mariupol prepared Monday for a final defence.

Kyiv, SAEDNEWS: Moscow is pushing for a major victory in the southern city as it works to wrest control of Donbas and forge a land corridor to already-annexed Crimea.

But Ukraine has pledged to fight on and defend the city, defying a Russian ultimatum Sunday that called on the remaining fighters inside the encircled Azovstal steel plant to lay down their arms and surrender.

Ukrainian authorities have urged people in Donbas to move west to escape a large-scale Russian offensive to capture its composite regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

"Russian troops are preparing for an offensive operation in the east of our country in the near future. They want to literally finish off and destroy Donbas," Zelensky said in an evening statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday he spoke with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva about Ukraine's financial stability and the country's post-war reconstruction.

"Discussed with IMF Managing Director Georgieva the issue of ensuring Ukraine's financial stability & preparations for post-war reconstruction. We have clear plans for now, as well as a vision of prospects. I’m sure cooperation between the IMF & Ukraine will continue to be fruitful," Zelensky said in a tweet.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said earlier he will attend the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington this week and will seek more financial assistance for Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he has invited his French counterpart to visit Ukraine to see for himself evidence that Russian forces have committed "genocide," a term President Emmanuel Macron has avoided.

“I talked to him yesterday,” Zelensky told CNN in an interview. “I just told him I want him to understand that this is not war, but nothing other than genocide. I invited him to come when he will have the opportunity. He'll come and see, and I'm sure he will understand.”

Zelensky said he also thought US President Joe Biden would come at some point, though White House officials have said there are no plans to do so. The Ukrainian leader said he believed Macron was shying away from using the term “genocide” -- a term Biden has now used regarding the war in Ukraine -- because he thinks it would hurt the chances for diplomatic engagement with Russia (Source: FRANCE 24).