Ukrainian president’s last minute call for citizens to take up arms, fight the Russians: ‘You will see our faces, not our backs’

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A defiant Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared martial law following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his country, calling on citizens to pick up arms and fight asserting, “And when you will be attacking us, you will see our faces, not our backs, but our faces.”

“Today I initiated a phone call with the president of the Russian Federation. The result was silence. Though the silence should be in Donbas. That’s why I want to address today the people of Russia. I am addressing you not as a president, I am addressing you as a citizen of Ukraine,” he said.

“More than 2,000 km of the common border is dividing us. Along this border your troops are stationed, almost 200,000 soldiers, thousands of military vehicles. Your leaders approved them to make a step forward, to the territory of another country. And this step can be the beginning of a big war on European continent,” Zelenskyy bravely stated according to an NBC News transcript.

“We know for sure that we don’t need the war. Not a Cold War, not a hot war. Not a hybrid one. But if we’ll be attacked by the [enemy] troops, if they try to take our country away from us, our freedom, our lives, the lives of our children, we will defend ourselves. Not attack, but defend ourselves. And when you will be attacking us, you will see our faces, not our backs, but our faces,” he boldly proclaimed.

“The war is a big disaster, and this disaster has a high price. With every meaning of this word. People lose money, reputation, quality of life, they lose freedom. But the main thing is that people lose their loved ones, they lose themselves,” he continued.

“They told you that Ukraine is posing a threat to Russia. It was not the case in the past, not in the present, it’s not going to be in the future. You are demanding security guarantees from NATO, but we also demand security guarantees. Security for Ukraine from you, from Russia, and other guarantees of the Budapest memorandum,” Zelenskyy remarked.

(Video Credit: NBC News)

“But our main goal is peace in Ukraine and the safety of our people, Ukrainians. For that, we are ready to have talks with anybody, including you, in any format, on any platform. The war will deprive [security] guarantees from everybody — nobody will have guarantees of security anymore. Who will suffer the most from it? The people. Who doesn’t want it the most? The people! Who can stop it? The people. But are there those people among you? I am sure,” he railed.

“I know that they [the Russian state] won’t show my address on Russian TV, but Russian people have to see it. They need to know the truth, and the truth is that it is time to stop now before it is too late. And if the Russian leaders don’t want to sit with us behind the table for the sake of peace, maybe they will sit behind the table with you. Do Russians want the war? I would like to know the answer. But the answer depends only on you, citizens of the Russian Federation,” Zelenskyy concluded.

“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” Zelenskyy said in an address to the nation.

After Zelenskyy’s call to arms, Ukrainians have cleared out gun shops in Kyiv. They are prepared to fight for their freedom despite being greatly outnumbered and outpowered by the Russian invading force. Ukrainians are vowing to defend their country as no one seems to be willing to help them fight off the communists.

The Kremlin began a full-scale invasion on Thursday, launching missile strikes on infrastructure in cities across the north, south, and east in Ukraine.

The Daily Mail is reporting that one reservist told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program that he was “prepared to die” to defend his country from “Russian occupation.”

At a gun shop in Kyiv, a manager claimed he will use his Soviet-era weapon which he bought in 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea to protect “my family, my house, my country” from “Putin’s guys.”

A young woman whose husband was busy purchasing a revolver said that she would use the gun if confronted by Russian troops, adding, “It’s not the only weapon we’ve got, we’re just buying a new one to add to the stocks.”

The shop owner, who sells Kalashnikovs, told the media outlet, “In the gun shop, we are now very busy. There are very many people who want to buy guns and there are many people who want to buy cartridges. We have cartridges, but not many, not enough. Every day, many, many cartridges have been bought. We have (been really full).”

(Audio Credit: The Daily Mail)

Zelenskyy addressed Ukrainians, telling them, “Dear Ukrainian citizens, this morning President Putin announced a special military operation in Donbas. Russia conducted strikes on our military infrastructure and our border guards. There were blasts heard in many cities of Ukraine. We’re introducing martial law on the whole territory of our country.”

“A minute ago I had a conversation with President Biden. The US has already started uniting international support. Today each of you should keep calm. Stay at home if you can. We are working. The Army is working. The whole sector of defense and security is working. No panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will win over everybody because we are Ukraine,” he declared.

Putin has warned other countries to not interfere with the invasion, saying, “Whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history.”

The Russian dictator urged Ukrainian servicemen to “immediately put down arms and go home.”

Putin also warned that “no one should have any doubts that a direct attack on our country will lead to the destruction and horrible consequences for any potential aggressor,” emphasizing that Russia is “one of the most potent nuclear powers and also has a certain edge in a range of state-of-the-art weapons.”


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