As Russian troops advanced on Kiev, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told European leaders in a video conference call Thursday night “this might be the last time you see me alive.”
Axios, citing two European sources briefed on the call, reported the conversation took place before the EU leaders decided on a new series of sanctions against Russia.
A European diplomat told Axios that Zelensky urged the leaders to take steps to help Ukraine and isolate Russia that they haven’t been willing to take so far.
Just prior to the call, Zelensky told the nation in a televised address that he was Russia’s “number one” target for capture or assassination. His family members, the Ukrainian president added, were the “number two” target. Zelensky said Russian “sabotage forces” were in the capital hunting for him and his family.
The Pentagon, Axios noted, has warned that Russia’s strategy appears to be to encircle Kiev and “decapitate” the Zelensky-led government.
Confirming the gravity of the situation, a participant in the video conference with Zelensky, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, told the TT news agency that when the EU leaders said goodbye to Zelensky they knew they might not see him again.
🇺🇦 President Zelensky: “We are here. We are in Kyiv. We are defending Ukraine.“
He told EU leaders last night, “this may be the last time you see me alive.”
— Julie Lenarz #IStandWithUkraine (@MsJulieLenarz) February 25, 2022
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