Speaking to Russian People, Zelensky Pleads for Peace

UN Security Council convenes emergency meeting
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2022 8:00 PM CST
Zelensky Asks Russian People to Stand Up Against War
Demonstrators hold placards and flags at a protest outside the Russian Embassy in London on Wednesday night.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Speaking in their language, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the Russian people in a speech late Wednesday night that their leaders are preparing to start what could become "a big war on the European continent" and asked them to oppose it. He began his video speech in Ukrainian, addressing his own citizens, then switched to Russian to address his neighbors, the BBC reports. "Who can stop" a war? he asked them. "People. These people are among you, I am sure." Zalensky said that the Kremlin has approved the deployment of almost 200,000 into Ukraine. The president assured them his country will fight if necessary.

"As you attack, it will be our faces you see, not our backs," Zelensky said in an emotional address. He also said he had tried to reach Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier Wednesday, per the Washington Post, but Putin didn't take the call. "Listen to the voice of reason," Zelensky said. "The Ukrainian people want peace." Ukraine had asked for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, and that meeting was scheduled for Wednesday night, per the AP. (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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