Target number one & Ukraine in NATO: Volodymyr Zelensky speech at the end of the first day of Russia’s attacks
Full speech by Volodymyr Zelensky
“Glory to the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Guys and girls, our defenders, you are brilliantly defending the Country against one of the most powerful countries in the world. Today, Russia attacked the entire territory of our State. And today our defenders have done a lot. They defended almost the entire territory of our Country, which suffered direct blows. They repel the territory that the enemy managed to occupy. For example, Gostomel, near Kyiv.
It gives the pain of confidence in the capital. According to our data, unfortunately, we lost 137 of our heroes today. Our citizens. 10 of them are officers. Wounded 316.
On our Snake Island, defending it to the last, all the border guards guys died heroically. But did not give up. All of them will be posthumously awarded the title of Heroes of Ukraine. Eternal memory to those who gave their lives for Ukraine.
I am grateful to everyone who is rescuing people right now and helping to maintain order in the Country. The enemy strikes not only on military targets, but also on civilians. They kill people and turn free cities into military targets. This is vile and will never be forgiven.
I know that they throw in a lot of very different information, a lot of fakes, including the fact that I allegedly left Kyiv. I stay in the capital, I stay with my people. During the day I held dozens of international talks, directly managed our Country and I remain in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine, and my children are also in Ukraine. My family is not traitor, but citizens of Ukraine! But I have no right to say where they are now.
The enemy identified me as the target number one, according to our information. My family is the target number two. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by killing the head of State. We also have information that enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv. Therefore, I urge Kyivans to be careful and follow the curfew rules. I stay in the government quarter with everyone who is needed for the work of the central council.
No matter how many conversations I had with the leaders of different countries today, I heard several things. The first is that we are supported. I am really grateful to each State that helps Ukraine concretely, but concretely, and not just in words.
But there is a second. We are left alone to defend our State. Who is ready to fight with us. Fair? I do not see such. Who is ready to give a guarantee to Ukraine before joining NATO. Fair? Everyone is afraid. Today, we heard from Moscow that they want to talk about Ukraine’s neutral status. I tell all the partners of our State – now is an important moment, the fate of our Country is being decided. And I ask them, are you with us? They answer that they are with us, but they are not ready to take us with them into the alliance.
Today, I asked the 27 leaders of Europe whether Ukraine would join NATO. I asked directly. Everyone is afraid. Do not answer. And we are not afraid. We are not afraid of anything. We are not afraid to defend our State. We are not afraid of Russia. We are not afraid to talk to Russia. We are not afraid to talk about everything. About security guarantees for our State. We are not afraid to talk about neutral status, we are not in NATO now. But what guarantees will we have?
And most importantly, which specific countries will give them to us. We need to talk about the end of this invasion, we need to talk about the end of this war. But now the fate of the Country depends entirely on our army. From our heroes. Our security forces. From all our defenders, from our people, from your wisdom. And from the great support of all the friends of our Country.
Glory to Ukraine.”