Zelensky says he’s had 10 attempts on his life: ‘It means there’s only 10 people willing to have me killed’

‘That’s not bad, when people are being tortured, when the bodies of people are found in wells’

Arpan Rai
Monday 02 May 2022 12:55 BST
Zelensky says humanitarian corridors are ‘working for the first time’ in Ukraine

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the assassination attempts against him do not worry him as much as the torture and war crimes being reported in his besieged country.

Mr Zelensky added that getting used to a war is the worst possible habit, as Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine inched closer to the 70th day mark this week.

“Well, that’s 10 assassination attempts, means that there’s only 10 people willing to have me killed,” Mr Zelensky said, according to Channel 9.

“That’s not bad, when people are being tortured, when the bodies of people are found in the wells... I think, considering all of that, my situation is not that horrible, but I’m afraid for those people.”

In the last two months, a total of 2,899 people have been killed, including 219 children, and more than 3,200 have been injured as the siege within Ukraine’s frontiers rages.

On being asked about the Bucha massacre, where scores of Ukrainians were found tied up and dead in the streets in Kyiv Oblast, Mr Zelensky said he felt anger and pain.

“I felt, uh, anger. I felt, a desire for revenge. And then after that came a lack of understanding, how could you do something to- to people, to- to- to humanity? How could you torture that many people?” Mr Zelensky said.

He added that he was “not afraid to show some sort of weakness”.

“You can lose your humanity and I want not to lose it. I want to keep my humanity and that is why I’m watching all of it, I’m looking at photos,” Mr Zelensky said.

This map shows the extent of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
This map shows the extent of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (Press Association Images)

Ukraine put up an unanticipated military response in the face of attacks from Russian troops, defying Moscow’s expectations to capture Kyiv within days of launching the assault.

But the intense response from Ukraine’s armed forces has sparked fears of escalated attacks from Russia, according to some experts.

“Well, one of my concerns is that ironically, the more success that Ukrainians have, the greater the risk that Putin will do something because he’s losing and has to save face at home,” US Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez said on Sunday.

He added that the potential for “a chemical, biological or tactical nuclear weapon may grow” as a result of that.

The top senator added that the threat of Russian weapons of mass destruction — particularly Moscow’s chemical weapons stockpiles — is “a real concern” as Mr Putin has shown no qualms about using such weapons.

Russia has also been accused of using thermobaric rockets in Ukraine.

In his late night video address on Sunday, Mr Zelensky said: “What could be Russia’s strategic success in this war? Honestly, I do not know. The ruined lives of people and the burned or stolen property will give nothing to Russia. It will only increase the toxicity of the Russian state and the number of those in the world who will work to isolate Russia.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered.

To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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