Home » Zelensky says Russia waging war so Putin can stay in power ‘until the end of his life’

Zelensky says Russia waging war so Putin can stay in power ‘until the end of his life’

by Mahmmod Shar

By Olga Voitovych, Yulia Kesaieva, Gul Tuysuz, Denis Lapin and Mariya Knight, CNN

CNN — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “following the devil” and waging a war to ensure that its President Vladimir Putin remains in power “until the end of his life.”

Zelensky switched to speaking Russian in his nightly address on Saturday to send a message to the Kremlin and Russian citizens, as Moscow launched a series of deadly strikes that swept several regions of Ukraine ahead of New Year.

“All this war that you are waging, you – Russia, it is not the war with NATO, as your propagandists lie,” Zelensky said. “It is not for something historical. It’s for one person to remain in power until the end of his life.

“And what will be with all of you, citizens of Russia, does not concern him,” he added.

Zelensky said “Russian leader is hiding behind the troops, behind missiles, behind the walls of his residences and palaces” and behind his people. “He hides behind you and burns your country and your future. No one will ever forgive you for terror,” Zelensky emphasized.

Zelensky said “most of the Russian missiles intercepted by air defense forces.”

“The number of casualties would have been different if it weren’t for air defense. Much larger,” he emphasized. And this serves as yet another indication to the outside world that Ukraine needs more support.

Denys Shmyhal, the prime minister of Ukraine, previously claimed that Moscow wanted to bring about darkness and leave the nation “in the dark for the New Year.”

According to Shmyhal on Telegram, Moscow wants to “intimidate, leave us in the dark for the new year, and cause as much damage to civilian infrastructure as possible.”

“Civilian infrastructure is being attacked in various parts of our nation. Damage was done to homes, hotels, shops, and festival locations. He wrote, “There are both dead and injured.

Russians want to intimidate, keep us in the dark for the new year, and harm as much of the infrastructure used by the general public as they can.

In the midst of a harsh winter, recent Russian shelling of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure has left much of the nation without access to heat or electricity.

Russian shelling in Kyiv killed at least one person on Saturday.
Russian shelling in Kyiv killed at least one person on Saturday.Vladyslav Sodel/Reuters

Out of the 20 injured in the capital Kyiv, 14 were hospitalized, while six others were given medical care on the spot, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.

Several school buildings in the capital suffered severe damage from the explosions, the mayor added.

Air raid sirens were activated following the attacks in Kyiv, where air defenses later repelled 45 Iranian drones.

“On the night of January 1, 2023, the Russian invaders attacked Ukraine with Iranian-made kamikaze drones Shahed-131/136,” the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a statement.

“As a result of combat work by the air defense of the Air Force in cooperation with the anti-aircraft defense of other components of the Defense Forces of Ukraine, 45 attack UAVs were destroyed. 13 in 2022 and 32 in 2023.

“They failed to spoil the holiday for the Ukrainians.”

Russian shelling in Kyiv killed at least one person on Saturday.Vladyslav Sodel/Reuters

Emergency services were sent to the scene but according to preliminary information there were no casualties.

Further east in the Donetsk, Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions, Russian strikes killed at least six people.

Three people died and three more were wounded in the Donetsk region, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Kyrylo Tymoshenko said on Telegram.

One person was wounded in the Zaporizhzhia region. Two were killed and one wounded in the Kharkiv region. Two people were wounded in the Kherson region, while one died in the Chernihiv region.

Rescuers worked at the site of explosions in Kyiv.
Rescuers worked at the site of explosions in Kyiv.Gleb Garanich/Reuters

It came after Russia launched five missiles and 29 air strikes on Friday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said Saturday.

“26 of the enemy’s air strikes were on civilian infrastructure. In particular, the occupants used 10 Shahed-136 UAVs, but all of them were shot down. In addition, the enemy made 80 attacks from multiple rocket launchers, civilian settlements were also hit,” the General Staff said in its latest operational update.

It said that Russia “continues to conduct offensive actions at the Lyman and Bakhmut directions and is trying to improve the tactical situation at the Kupiansk and Avdiivka directions.”

Russian forces fired on several towns and villages, including in Lyman, in the direction of Bakhmut, in the areas of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

‘We will persevere’

Nearly a third of the capital, Kyiv, was left without power Saturday after emergency shutdowns.
Nearly a third of the capital, Kyiv, was left without power Saturday after emergency shutdowns.Kyodo News/Getty Images

Thirty percent of the capital was left without power due to emergency shutdowns, Klitschko said.

“The municipal ‘life support system’ of the capital is operating normally. Currently, 30% of consumers are without electricity. Due to emergency shutdowns,” he said on Telegram.

“Kyiv residents have water and heat,” he added.

Additionally, according to Klitschko, the restrictions were put in place to inspect the city’s open section of the red metro line “for the presence of remnants of missile debris.”

Specialists are en route to that location, he declared. When traffic on the red line resumes, we’ll let you know more.

Locals in Kyiv described to CNN their plans for the upcoming holiday.

“Starting in 2023, I really want to win as well as experience new and more positive emotions. I really miss it. I also desire open borders and travel. And because one should not remain stagnant, I also consider my own and my colleagues’ professional development. Alyona Bogulska, a financier who is 29 years old, declared “I have to grow and work for the good of the country.”

“This year, it’s a symbol, not that it’s a small victory, but a symbol that we survived the year,” said Tatiana Tkachuk, a 43-year-old pharmacy employee.

“And I want to thank everyone who helps Ukraine. We’ve made a lot of friends. And in order to understand that we have a lot of good things, unfortunately, we had to go through terrible things. But so many people are doing real miracles for Ukraine.”

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska said the country “will persevere,” following the strikes.

“On New Year’s Eve, cities should be covered by wave of celebration, joy and hope. Ukrainian cities are again covered by missile wave from Russia,” Zelenska tweeted.

“Ruining lives of others is a disgusting habit of our neighbors. But we will persevere and be even stronger – in spite of everything.”

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