Zelenskyy calls for more sanctions and weapons in latest video

President says Russia is 'collecting bodies' of people killed in Mariupol to accuse Ukrainian troops of killing their own people

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv on April 7. Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday called for nations to impose “more courageous sanctions” against Russia to try to end the war.

In his evening address, Mr Zelenskyy said the current sanctions were “not yet the ones needed to stop Russia and stop the war”.

“If sanctions had really worked at 100 per cent, then it wouldn’t have been necessary to explain their importance in such a detailed and meticulous way," he said.

"That’s why I underline once again that we need more sanctions, more courageous sanctions. Courage and utility must be the criteria to assess the decisions.“

He also called for countries to supply more weapons to Ukraine.

Ukraine needs weapons that will allow us to win on the battlefield,” he said. “It will be the strongest sanction against Russia of all possible ones.”

Western allies have increased financial penalties aimed at Moscow.

The US Congress voted on Thursday to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and ban the import of its oil, while the EU approved new sanctions, including a ban on Russian coal.

The UN General Assembly, meanwhile, voted on Thursday to suspend Russia from the world body's human rights council.

Mr Zelenskyy welcomed the General Assembly’s move.

He said Russia was “collecting bodies” of people killed in Mariupol, which he said then could be used to accuse Ukrainian troops of killing their own people.

“Russia has long had nothing to do with the concept of human rights," Mr Zelenskyy said. "It might change one day.

"But for now Russia and its military are the main threat on the planet for freedom, people’s safety and for the concept of human rights."

He said there would be a retaliatory response to Ukraine releasing images of killings in Bucha.

“We are receiving more and more information that Russian propaganda is preparing so-called ‘tit-for-tat’ response to the shock all normal people had from what they saw in Bucha," Mr Zelenskyy said.

"They are trying to show victims in Mariupol as if they were killed not by Russian forces, but by Ukrainian defenders of the city.

"For this purpose, occupiers are collecting bodies on the streets and taking them away. They might use it somewhere else in accordance to developed propaganda scenarios.”

The Ukrainian leader also welcomed the return of Turkish, Slovenian and Lithuanian diplomats to Kyiv, calling for other countries to reopen their embassies in the capital.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet everyone who is with us, everyone who is brave,” Mr Zelenskyy said.

"Come back with every diplomat who has returned to our capital and continues working.

"The presence of foreign diplomatic missions in Kyiv, normal work of embassies, is a clear signal to the aggressor that Kyiv is our capital.

"It’s not a regional city in Russia, it’s the Ukrainian capital.”

Updated: April 08, 2022, 12:58 AM