Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been full of praise after he warned Putin.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been full of praise after he warned Putin.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was showered with praise today after delivering a touching speech in which he vowed that Vladimir Putin’s forces “will see our faces, not our backs” if they decide to attack – hours before Russia launched a full-scale invasion of his country.

Speaking in Russian to ordinary Russians on national television in the early hours of the morning, Mr. Zelenskiy said he tried to call Putin directly but was met with “silence.”

He said that his country and Russia did not need a war, “neither a cold war nor a hot war.” Not hybrid.

The former comedian and actor then darkly warned Putin: “But if we are attacked, if we are faced with an attempt to take away our country, our freedom, our lives and the lives of our children, we will defend ourselves.

“When you attack us, you will see our faces. Not our backs, but our faces.

Today, Mr. Zelenskiy was widely praised on social media for his bold response.

One person said it was “the most touching thing” they had heard in “a long time”, adding that it would be “discussed and remembered”.

Another called the president’s words “incredibly touching”, while a third called them “heartbreakingly human”.

A fourth called Zelensky’s speech “incredible” and added that his actions reflect “everything that Putin was not.”

However, shortly after the speech, Putin made it clear that he was completely ignoring his colleague’s words, ordering an attack around 5 a.m., firing a salvo of missiles before a full-scale assault from the ground and air began.

This evening it became known that Russian troops had captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The video shows Russian tanks and armored vehicles standing in front of a destroyed reactor just 60 miles north of Kiev.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was showered with praise today after delivering a touching speech in which he vowed that Vladimir Putin's forces

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was showered with praise today after delivering a touching speech in which he vowed that Vladimir Putin’s forces “will see our faces, not our backs” if they decide to attack – hours before Russia launched a full-scale invasion of his country.

Mr. Zelensky delivered his speech in a suit and standing in front of a map of Ukraine.

Deciding to speak Russian in the hope that ordinary Russians would see his broadcast, he said: “Today I initiated a telephone conversation with the President of the Russian Federation. Silence was the result.

“Although there should be silence in the Donbass. Therefore, I want to address the people of Russia today.

“I am not addressing you as a president, I am addressing you as a citizen of Ukraine. We are separated by more than 2,000 km of a common border. Along this border are your troops, almost 200,000 soldiers, thousands of combat vehicles.

“Your leaders approved of their step forward into the territory of another country. And this step could be the beginning of a big war on the European continent.”

He then spoke excitedly about how Ukrainian soldiers and ordinary citizens would stand and fight if Russia decided to attack.

Zelensky then added: “War is a big catastrophe, and this catastrophe has a high price. With all the meanings of this word.

“People are losing money, reputation, quality of life, losing freedom. But the main thing is that people lose their loved ones, they lose themselves.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been full of praise after he warned Putin. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been full of praise after he warned Putin. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been full of praise after he warned Putin. Today, Mr. Zelenskiy was widely praised on social media for his bold response.  One person said it was

Today, Mr. Zelenskiy was widely praised on social media for his bold response. One person said it was “the most touching thing” they had heard in “a long time”, adding that it “will be discussed and remembered”.

He also dismissed Putin’s false claims that Ukraine was a threat to Russia and insisted that ordinary Russians “won’t” and “could stop” the war.

The former actor added that his words would not be shown on Russian television, but said that ordinary Russians “should see this.”

“They need to know the truth, and the truth is that it’s time to stop now before it’s too late,” he said.

“And if the Russian leaders do not want to sit at the table with us for the sake of peace, maybe they will sit at the table with you.

“Do the Russians want wars? I would like to know the answer. But the answer depends only on you, the citizens of the Russian Federation.”

Reacting with praise, one social media user said: “Zelensky [sic] A speech in Russian addressed to the Russian people was the most touching thing I have heard in a long time. This will be talked about and remembered for a long time.”

Another wrote: “An incredibly touching speech by Ukrainian President Zelensky to his people as well as their Russian neighbors.”

A third said: “This address by Ukrainian President Zelensky is incredible. Mobile, rational, human. Everything, Putin has not yet been. Especially the appeal to ordinary Russians, many of whom have relatives and friends in Ukraine.”

A fourth said: “Vladimir Zelensky addresses the Russian people directly in a powerful, touching and heartbreaking human speech.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been full of praise after he warned Putin. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been full of praise after he warned Putin. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been full of praise after he warned Putin. The president put on a

The president put on a “moving spectacle” and appeared “exhausted or nearly in tears at some points,” another person tweeted.

The President put on a “moving spectacle” and looked “exhausted or almost in tears at some points,” another person tweeted.

Mr. Zelensky’s bold stance was echoed later today when he gave a press conference in which he changed from his suit to a military uniform.

“If you, dear European leaders, dear world leaders, leaders of the free world, if you don’t help us today, if you don’t help Ukraine a lot, then war will knock on your door tomorrow,” he said.

“This is the sound of a new iron curtain that has come down and isolates Russia from the civilized world.”

The rise of the politician to the presidency came in 2019, after he unexpectedly ran in the Ukrainian elections.

He previously pursued a career in comedy and starred as the president on the TV show Servant of the People.

He was born in Krivoy Rog, a Russian-speaking region in southeastern Ukraine, in January 1978. Before becoming an actor, he received a law degree from the Kiev National Economic University.

In Servant of the People, he played a history teacher who was inadvertently elected president after a video of his character making anti-corruption rants went viral.

Pictured: Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky at his campaign headquarters after the presidential election in Kiev, Ukraine, April 21, 2019.

Pictured: Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky at his campaign headquarters after the presidential election in Kiev, Ukraine, April 21, 2019.

Zelenskiy's only previous political role was on the TV show Servant of the People (pictured), where he played a history teacher who was inadvertently elected president of Ukraine after a video of his character making anti-corruption rants went viral.

Zelenskiy’s only previous political role was on the TV show Servant of the People (pictured), where he played a history teacher who was inadvertently elected president of Ukraine after a video of his character making anti-corruption rants went viral.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a Mace, the Ukrainian symbol of power, during an inauguration ceremony at the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev, May 20, 2019.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a Mace, the Ukrainian symbol of power, during an inauguration ceremony at the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev, May 20, 2019.

Like his character, Zelensky ran an anti-corruption campaign in 2019 and defeated pro-Russian incumbent Petro Poroshenko with 73 percent of the vote.

Poroshenko lost to the TV star in all regions of the country, including in the west, where he traditionally enjoyed strong support.

It was an outstanding result of a campaign that started as a joke but resonated with voters frustrated by poverty, corruption and five years of war.

Poster for the film

Poster for the film “Servant of the People”, in which the main role was played by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

At his campaign headquarters, when the exit polls came out, Zelenskiy said, “I will never let you down.” Although formally I am not the president yet, but as a citizen of Ukraine I can say to all post-Soviet countries: “Look at us! Everything is possible!”

But despite his landslide victory, uncertainty remained over how the Russian-speaking Zelenskiy would lead Ukraine and deal with its biggest threat abroad from Russia and its president.

Since coming to power in 2019, he has had to manage forces pulling his country in completely different directions.

On the one hand, Ukraine is developing relations with the US, NATO and the European Union. On the other hand, Russia and Putin were desperate to stop the former Soviet state from further retreat.

All the while, he sought to keep his compatriots calm and demonstrated measured leadership in the face of growing danger.

But in recent months he has faced the biggest problem of his premiership – the threat of a Russian invasion.

Before the possibility of an invasion arose, Zelenskiy promoted unity between the Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking parts of the country.

He also oversaw the removal of legal immunity from members of the Ukrainian parliament, as well as the country’s response to the Covid pandemic and the economic downturn that followed.

His critics argued that he sought to centralize his personal political power by wresting power from the Ukrainian oligarchs.

Mr. Zelensky's bold stance was echoed later today when he gave a press conference in which he changed from his suit to a military uniform.

Mr. Zelensky’s bold stance was echoed later today when he gave a press conference in which he changed from his suit to a military uniform.

His government has also shut down pro-Russian media outlets in the country and placed top opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk, who boasts of his personal ties to Putin, under house arrest on treason charges.

Before the Russian invasion, Zelenskiy seemed to be both heated and cool about the prospect of a Russian attack.

At a press conference ahead of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to the country a few weeks ago, Zelenskiy accused Western governments of creating a “panic” by repeatedly warning of an invasion.

Yet in a fiery speech at the Munich Security Conference last week, Ukraine’s president accused the West of appeasing Putin.

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