In a bitter and emotional speech, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticised NATO for refusing to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, saying it will fully untie Russia's hands as it escalates its attack from the air.
"All the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your lack of unity," he said in a nighttime address. "The alliance has given the green light to the bombing of Ukrainian cities and villages by refusing to create a no-fly zone."
"All that the alliance was able to do today was to pass through its procurement system 50 tons of diesel fuel for Ukraine. Perhaps so we could burn the Budapest Memorandum," Zelenskyy said, referring to the 1994 security guarantees given to Ukraine in exchange for the withdrawal of its Soviet-era nuclear weapons. "You will not be able to pay us off with liters of fuel for the liters of our blood, shed for our common Europe." (AP)
NATO rejects Ukraine no-fly zone
NATO on Friday rejected Ukrainian calls to help it protect its skies from Russian missiles and warplanes, wary of being dragged into Moscow's war on its neighbour, but Europe promised more sanctions to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin.U
"We are not part of this conflict," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in denying Ukraine's request. "We have a responsibility as NATO allies to prevent this war from escalating beyond Ukraine because that would be even more dangerous, more devastating and would cause even more human suffering," he said following a NATO meeting in Brussels.
Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, wants to join the European Union and NATO, moves which Moscow says threaten its security and influence. (Reuters)
Fighting was raging in Ukraine as Russian troops besieged and bombarded cities in the second week of an invasion.
Russian forces closing in on Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear facility, and is currently only 32 km away from it, said United States ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Her comments followed news that Russia had, on Friday, seized Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticised NATO for refusing to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, saying it will fully untie Russia’s hands as it escalates its attack from the air. On Friday, NATO refused to impose a no-fly zone, warning that to do so could provoke widespread war in Europe with nuclear-armed Russia.
Russia blocked Facebook and some other websites on Friday and passed a law that gave Moscow much stronger powers to crack down on independent journalism, prompting the BBC, Bloomberg and other foreign media to suspend reporting in the country. Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, the biggest on a European state since World War Two, has created over 1 million refugees, a barrage of sanctions and fears of a global economic hit and wider conflict in the West unthought-of for decades.