Speaking in Russian, Zelensky appeals to Russians to prevent war

Posted at 6:40 PM, Feb 23, 2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed his country and appealed to Russians in a video address that was released Thursday in Ukraine.

According to NBC News, Zelenskyy spoke in both Ukrainian and Russian.

He reportedly said that Ukrainians don't hate Russian culture and there is "no reason to be enemies."

Zelenskyy said he reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday but did not receive a response, NBC News reported.

A translation of Zelenskyy's speech shows that he wants Russians to let their government know war is not in anyone's best interest.

"If the Russian leadership does not want to sit at the table with us for the sake of peace, perhaps it will sit at the table with you," Zelenskyy said, according to the NBC News translation. "Do Russians want war? I would very much like to answer this question, but the answer depends on you, the citizens of the Russian Federation."

The U.S. warned Ukraine on Wednesday that a full-scale Russian invasion could be imminent.

According to The Associated Press, Russia has been asked by rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine for military assistance to fend off Ukrainian “aggression.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already received authorization from lawmakers to use military force outside the country.

The exact timing of Putin's potential move into Ukraine is unknown, but the U.S. says Russia is ready to attack.