Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Vladimir Putin wants to ‘disband’ Europe and achieve a ‘global strike on democracy’ if the Russian president is not stopped.
Zelensky made the claims as he warned world leaders that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is ‘just the beginning’.
He said the ‘free world’ has the right to self-defence and Putin’s desire to destabilise Europe will mean Western leaders will help Ukraine with more weaponry.
It comes as Moscow accused the West of undermining European security by openly inciting Ukraine to strike Russia as Vladimir Putin threatened to respond ‘seriously’ to any further attack on Russian territory.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow that the West is ‘openly calling on Ukraine to attack Russia using weapons received from NATO countries’ while warning: ‘We do not recommend testing our patience.
Explosions inside Russia in recent weeks have destroyed fuel depots, ammo dumps, and railways being used to reinforce its armies inside Ukraine.
Following Zakharova’s comments, Zelenksy wrote on Facebook: ‘In the free world, there are almost no people who would not understand that the war between Russia and Ukraine is just the beginning.
‘The final goal of Russia’s leadership is not just to capture the territory of Ukraine, but to disband the entire… eastern Europe and [achieve] a global strike on democracy.
‘So the free world has the right to self defence. And that’s why it will help Ukraine even more.’
His comments came after Putin said yesterday that any country deemed to be ‘interfering’ in Ukraine would meet with a ‘lightning-fast’ response using weapons ‘no one else can boast of’ – thought to be a reference to nukes.
The Kremlin said Western and in particular British attempts to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine threatened the security of Europe.
‘In itself, the tendency to pump weapons, including heavy weapons, to Ukraine and other countries are actions that threaten the security of the continent and provoke instability,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Sergei Naryshkin, the chief of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), accused the United States and Poland of plotting to gain a sphere of influence in Ukraine, the strongest signal from Moscow that the war could end with forced partition of Ukraine between the West and Russia.