‘Leave our territory’: Zelenskyy defiant as he rejects calls for early peace talks

On the primary anniversary of Russia’s full-on invasion of his nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to push for victory in 2023 as he tried to rally an more and more exhausted however defiant nation.

His handle to the armed forces and the nation on Friday famous that Russian leaders believed his nation would fall inside days of Moscow’s advance.

“They threatened that in 72 hours, we’d not exist,” Zelenskyy mentioned — with out mentioning that a few of Ukraine’s allies made the identical evaluation on the time.

“However we survived the fourth day. After which the fifth. And immediately, we’ve got been standing for precisely one yr. And we nonetheless know — each tomorrow is price combating for.”


CBC Information has been on the bottom masking Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from the beginning. What do you need to learn about their expertise there? Ship an e-mail to [email protected]. Our reporters can be taking your questions.

Later, at a marathon information convention with the worldwide media, Zelenskyy mentioned a timeline for ending the conflict is achievable as lengthy as “companions do their jobs too” — a reference to the sluggish tempo of allies’ supply of superior weapons, together with heavy battle tanks.

On Friday, Canada introduced it could be sending 4 further Leopard 2 tanks, bringing the nation’s whole contribution of heavy armour to eight tanks.

Zelenskyy was pressed a number of occasions through the three-hour alternate with journalists to clarify the situations below which Ukraine would speak to Russia about ending the conflict.

He was blunt, stating that there can be no negotiations with Russia till it has pulled its troops from Ukraine’s territory and stopped its air bombardment.

“Everybody has seen that they killed and tortured individuals. They aren’t even attempting to cover their assaults, they’re speaking about nuclear issues,” he mentioned. “Seeing this image of the world, do you suppose Ukrainians can sit on this and negotiate?”

Folks wave Ukrainian flags as they stand on prime of a wrecked Russian T-72 tank — destroyed on the method to Kyiv and positioned in entrance of the Russian Embassy — throughout an illustration to mark the primary anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in Berlin on Friday. (Markus Schreiber/Related Press)

His message to Moscow was equally defiant.

“Our proper to dwell in our land must be revered. Depart our territory and withdraw and cease killing civilians and cease air strikes, cease killing canines, cats and animals,” Zelenskyy mentioned. “Solely after that we are going to let you know what type diplomacy would possibly take.”

Zelenskky reacted cautiously to China’s peace proposal, suggesting what he’s seen publicly appears to be like extra like an announcement than a foundation for discussions.

“China spoke its thoughts. China has began to speak about Ukraine and that is factor,” he mentioned, including he questions what actions would possibly observe China’s intervention.

U.S. intelligence officers have instructed that Washington has seen indicators China is offering non-lethal help and is making ready to offer Moscow with deadly support — presumably together with drones and artillery ammunition.


Senior Ukrainian safety officers have mentioned in addition they have heard that Russia could purchase materiel — particularly 122 millimetre Soviet-style rounds — to refill their depleted shares, however have seen no proof {that a} switch has taken place.

1244605196A Ukrainian soldier in an artillery unit fires in the direction of Russian positions outdoors Bakhmut on Nov. 8, 2022. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Photographs)

It is not shocking that Moscow is attempting to replenish its stockpile, given how a lot ammunition it has used, mentioned the officers who spoke on background to CBC Information. In keeping with Ukrainian authorities estimates, Russian artillery models have been firing as many as 5,000 rounds per day and have fired seven million tonnes of munitions over the previous yr. 

In his handle, Zelenskyy invoked recollections of the shared sacrifices made by households through the Second World Struggle. Ukrainian grandfathers used to speak about how they beat the Nazis, he mentioned, and immediately their grandchildren are telling their grandfathers how they’re beating the Russians.

“In truth, each Ukrainian has misplaced somebody previously yr,” mentioned Zelenskyy. “A father, a son, a brother, a mom, a daughter, a sister. A liked one. An in depth pal, colleague, neighbour, acquaintance.”

‘We’ll always remember them’

Virtually everybody, he mentioned, has a contact of their telephone belonging to an individual who won’t ever choose up once more.

“We won’t erase their names from the telephone or from our personal reminiscence. We’ll always remember them,” Zelenskyy mentioned. “We’ll by no means forgive that. We’ll by no means relaxation till the Russian murderers face deserved punishment.”

At a solemn, low-key ceremony in Kyiv on the ornate St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, the pinnacle of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Primate Epiphanius I, handed out awards to extraordinary troopers who fought to defend the capital yr. The citations have been for “for sacrifice and love for Ukraine.”

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv hosts a ceremony to honour soldiers who fought to defend the capital in Kyiv, Ukraine on Feb, 24, 2023.St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery hosts a ceremony to honour troopers who fought to defend the capital in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday. (Murray Brewster/CBC Information)

Within the sq. outdoors the monastery, households with babies mingled amid the twisted wrecks of Russian tanks and different army automobiles — a morale-boosting train sanctioned by the Ukrainian authorities.

Amongst them was Kateryna Didenko, a soloist with the Grand Kyiv Ballet. She fled the nation along with her son on the onset of the invasion, leaving her husband behind. She returned after a number of months in Germany.

It was just too arduous to remain away, mentioned Didenko.

Kateryna Didenko in Kyiv on Feb. 24, 2023: 'We had a beautiful life ... and then I had to run away.'Kateryna Didenko in Kyiv on Friday: ‘We had a fantastic life … after which I needed to run away.’ (Murray Brewster/CBC Information)

“In order that’s why we determined to return again,” she mentioned, noting the victories of the Ukrainian military and the flood of western weapons satisfied her “that we are able to come again house and keep right here as a result of now it is kind of protected.”

Her eyes welled with tears on the thought that the full-scale conflict has been happening for a yr now.

“Oh, gosh. I did not suppose it could take so lengthy,” Didenko mentioned. “I believed the conflict could be one or two months. And now it is one yr. We had a fantastic life [before the invasion] after which I needed to run away.”

If there’s a comfort, she mentioned, it’s that Ukraine has proven the world that it is sturdy and that its individuals “actually need to dwell in our nation in freedom.”

WATCH | ‘Their resilience is unbelievable’: Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine


‘Their resilience is unbelievable … however the senselessness of it nonetheless hits arduous’: Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine

“The lacking piece that [Ukrainians] would say is pace on the supply of weapons,” Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine Larissa Galadza instructed Energy & Politics Friday. “They’re utilizing up their ammunition continuously … so it simply must preserve coming.”

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