By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST/MOSCOW (Worthy News) – Ukraine’s democratically elected president warned his nation Friday that the world abandoned it and that he may soon be eliminated as Russian forces entered the capital Kyiv as part of a massive Russian invasion.
Appearing unshaven and wearing a T-shirt, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message early Friday that at least 137 Ukrainians, military and civilian, were already dead. Yet, “We are left to our own devices in defense of our state,” Zelensky added. “Who is ready to fight together with us? Honestly, I do not see such.”
He spoke after U.S. President Joe Biden announced new sanctions targeting Russia’s elites, top banks, and technology exports.
But in remarks clearly directed at both Kyiv and Moscow, Biden clarified that the U.S. military would not fight in Ukraine.
A well-informed U.S. security source requesting anonymity told Worthy News there are American special troops and U.S. Air Force personnel in Ukraine.
Biden said, however, that the U.S. military would only be deployed to defend the eastern flank of the NATO military alliance of which Ukraine isn’t a member.
European Union leaders also did not send troops to help Ukraine. They, too, limited their outrage to sanctions against Russia early Friday.
The punitive measures include bans on large bank deposits in the European Union visa limitations for diplomatic and other privileged passport holders. They also halted exports to Russia of numerous technological goods, including semiconductors.
But Moscow wasn’t impressed with rhetoric and sanctions and appeared to push forward with its army to topple the democratically elected pro-Western government of Ukraine.
Zelensky said Russian saboteurs had entered Kyiv, the capital, and that he was “target No. 1” for Russian forces, followed by his family.
“There is also information about the enemy’s sabotage groups entering Kyiv,” he said. “This is why I am asking citizens of Kyiv to be vigilant and adhere to the rules of martial law.”
Speaking in Ukrainian rather than his native Russian, he disputed Russia’s claims that it was striking only military targets. “They’re killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets,” he said.
“According to the available intelligence, the enemy marked me as a target No. 1 and my family as the target No. 2,” he stressed. “They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of the state.”
Zelensky denied he had fled his nation. “I am staying in the capital,” he pledged, adding that his family was also in Ukraine but that he could not disclose their location.
In Washington, the Biden administration said it was aware of Zelensky’s whereabouts. The administration “is in touch with him,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.
The invasion came despite Zelensky, a former actor, giving the performance of his life early Thursday.
“Listen to the voice of reason,” Zelensky said emotionally after midnight Thursday in Kyiv. “The Ukrainian people want peace.”
It was a passionate bid to save his country. It did not work. Hours later, a full-scale Russian invasion had begun. Zelensky, a former television actor and comic, became a wartime leader, a new role he reluctantly accepted.
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