In the face of intensifying Russian attacks on multiple cities across Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has remained steadfast, saying that his country has ‘already reached a strategic turning point’ in defeating the Russians.
“It is impossible to say how many days we still have [ahead of us] to free Ukrainian land. But we can say we will do it,” he said. “We are already moving towards our goal, our victory.”
Meanwhile, Russian forces have doubled down on airstrikes and shelling of cities and towns across Ukraine, reportedly making progress on their advance towards Kyiv. In Melitopol, the mayor was reportedly kidnapped, Russian forces placing a bag over his head as they carried him away. Residents of Mariupol were trapped in the besieged city by the Russian blitz, President Zelensky said.
Putin maintains that his invasion into Ukraine is a ‘special operation‘ to disarm Ukraine and unseat ‘Neo-Nazi’ leaders in the government. Ukraine’s hopes to join NATO had also presented a strategic and security menace to Russia.
Moscow has further denied targeting civilians, amid reports that a psychiatric hospital and around 50 schools in the city of Kharkiv had been destroyed by Russian shelling.
Since Russia began its invasion into Ukraine late last month, hundreds of civilians have reportedly perished in the onslaught, and another 2 million have becomes refugees. Pakistan has vowed to remain ‘neutral‘ in the ongoing crisis.