Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on ordinary people of his country and Russia alike to refuse to cooperate in Moscow’s invasion and occupation, and accused Russian forces in northern Ukraine of laying mines as they retreated, making people’s return dangerous make.
The Russians have even booby-trapped bodies with explosives, he accused in his late-night video address released early Saturday morning in Ukraine — Friday night in the United States.
Even as Russian forces withdraw from Kyiv, the capital, and the city of Chernihiv further north, “the situation in the east of our country remains extremely difficult,” he said. “The Russian military is gathering in the Donbass in the direction of Kharkiv. They are preparing for new powerful blows. We are preparing for an even more active defence.”
Zelenskyy’s video messages have roused support among Ukraine’s allies, but his new speech had an ominous tone and threatened his own people with unspecified consequences for cooperation with the invading Russians.
“Responsibility for collaboration is inevitable,” he said.
He noted that the Russians appointed people to take over local government and businesses in the territories they occupied – he specifically called them “Gauleiter”, a term for a regional administrator in Nazi Germany.
“There will be problems in working with them or directly with the occupiers. This is the final warning,” Mr. Zelensky said.
He also urged the Russians to resist conscription to the Kremlin military, which he said would result in “guaranteed death for many very young men.”
“Warn any such conscript, his parents,” he said. “We don’t need any more dead here. Save your children from becoming villains. Don’t send them to the army. Do whatever you can to keep them alive. At home. At their home. The Russians will not be told the whole truth about this conscription and about the fate of the conscripts. But still, if you can tell them the truth – do it.”
In northern Ukraine, where Russian forces have retreated from positions around Kyiv and Chernihiv, “they’re mining this whole area,” Zelenskyy said. “Mining houses, equipment, even the bodies of people killed. Too many tripwire mines, too many other dangers.”
His mining claims could not be independently verified.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/01/world/europe/zelensky-russian-military-speech-video.html Zelensky calls for general disobedience, both in Ukraine and in Russia