Where are you, Biden?
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement by visiting Kyiv and walking the streets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Johnson’s visit puts more pressure on Biden to do the same, especially since he avoided Ukraine during his Europe trip.
Zelenskyy: “Tens of Thousands” Killed in Mariupol
Zelenskyy told South Korean lawmakers the Russians killed “tens of thousands” of people in Mariupol:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday that “Mariupol is destroyed, tens of thousands people [are] dead but Russians are still continuing the military operation.”
Zelenskyy made the remark while addressing South Korean lawmakers.
“Ukraine needs various military technologies from airplanes to tanks,” he reportedly said, according to Reuters. “South Korea can help us.”
Mariupol officials have estimated that roughly 5,000 civilians had been killed, but warned last week that given the size of the destruction caused to the city the death toll could be in the tens of thousands.
The Mariupol City Council last week also accused Russian forces of relying on a mobile crematorium to cover up their alleged war crimes there.
Zelenskyy Speaks to 60 Minutes
Zelenskyy spoke to Scott Pelley for 60 Minutes in Kyiv. CBS published the transcript on its website. Pelley found Zelenskyy “buoyant, gracious, humble and brutally honest”:
Scott Pelley: In speaking to NATO, you called them weak. In speaking to the UN Security Council, you said, if you can’t help, you shouldn’t exist. Not very diplomatic of you. I wonder why you feel the need to speak so bluntly.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, translation: When you are [working] at diplomacy, there are no results. All this is very bureaucratic. That’s why the way I’m talking to them is absolutely justifiable. I don’t have any more lives [to give]. I don’t have any more emotions. I’m no longer interested in their diplomacy that leads to the destruction of my country. A lot of countries have changed their mind about Ukraine and about our people. But I think we’ve paid too high price for that.
Scott Pelley: What must the world understand?
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, translation: We are defending the ability of a person to live in the modern world. We are defending the right to live. I never thought this right was so costly. These are human values. So that Russia doesn’t choose what we should do and how I’m exercising my rights. That right was given to me by God and my parents.
God was hard to find on our visit to Kyiv’s northern suburbs which Russia occupied for weeks. Much of what we found will be difficult to watch. Behind St. Andrew’s Church there is a sandy trench not quite full of civilian residents of the town of Bucha. Ukraine stopped the Russians here, 45 minutes from the center of the capital city. The Russian retreat was so hasty, it seems there was no time to cover up the war crimes. President Zelenskyy visited Bucha two days before our interview.
Johnson in Kyiv
Vijeta covered Johnson’s visit to Kyiv on Sunday.
At a handshake distance. @BorisJohnson and @ZelenskyyUa walked through the center of Kyiv and talked to ordinary Kyivans. This is what democracy looks like. This is what courage looks like. This is what true friendship between peoples and between nations looks like. pic.twitter.com/ZcdL6NqNp2
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 9, 2022
Ukrainian Members of Parliament to Biden: Go to Kyiv
Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik invited Biden to visit Kyiv on national TV. She urged our president to walk Kyiov’s streets with Zelenskyy:
Rudik told “Fox News Live” on Sunday that the move would “really be a sign of solidarity.”
On Saturday, Johnson attended a surprise meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. Johnson’s office said the meeting was a “show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.” The meeting came a day after Johnson pledged another $130 million in high-grade military equipment to Ukraine.
Rudik called the move “uplifting” and “very motivational,” adding that “everybody admires Johnson” for the visit “because it was probably scary.”
“I know for sure that his security teams were advising him not to [visit] and he came in and did that,” she continued. “This is what the world is expecting from the leaders, to do the bold moves, to show Putin that for every strength there will be a strength. To show Ukrainians that people are supporting our courage with their courage. To show that for every threat, there are people who have no fear.”
Even Meet the Press wants Biden there:
"It was quite the symbol to see Prime Minister Boris Johnson walking the streets of Kyiv with President Zelenskyy. It raises the question: are we gonna see President Biden in Kyiv?"
NSA JAKE SULLIVAN: "Biden doesn't currently have any plans to travel to Kyiv." pic.twitter.com/yoS0IHoQRm
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 10, 2022
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