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Updated June 2nd, 2022 at 20:41 IST

Zelenskyy claims Russia occupied 20% of Ukraine; warns of 'dark times' if Moscow wins war

“This is what it means, in fact, to characterise this war as full-scale...And this is why we are calling the world for their support,” Ukraine's Zelenskyy said.

Zaini Majeed
Zelenskyy
Image: AP | Image:self
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Russia now controls almost 20% of Ukraine’s territory, an area larger than Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg combined, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, addressing Parliament in Luxembourg via a video link. “Tens of thousands” of people have died in the first 99 days of the war, the Ukrainian President said. 

Russian forces have captured several of Ukraine's territories, roughly 3,620 Ukrainian settlements, since they launched an all-out invasion on February 24. As many as 1,017 settlements have been liberated, and 2,603 are still occupied, Zelenskyy told Luxembourg’s Parliament. 

“This is what it means, in fact, to characterize this war as full-scale,” Zelenskyy said, adding, “And this is why we are calling the world for their support.”

'Dark times will come for everyone' if Russian wins: Zelenskyy 

Zelenskyy warned that if Russia prevails in its war in Ukraine “then dark times will come for everyone” in Europe. Ukraine's president demanded more weaponry and more rounds of strict sanctions against the President Vladimir Putin-led regime. 

“If we win this war, all Europeans will be able to continue enjoying their freedom," Zelenskyy said. “But if this one person who wants to destroy any freedom in Ukraine and Europe prevails, then dark times will come for everyone on the continent,” he added, referring to the Russian president Vladimir Putin. 

Zelenskyy's address came as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged that is the moral obligation as well as in European Union’s strategic interest to ensure that Ukraine joins the 30-nation bloc. In a display of support, the UK, the United States and Germany also announced that they are sending sophisticated medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine to help the war-hit nation to shoot down Russian aircraft and knock out artillery being launched inside their territory from multiple fronts.

Russia has, meanwhile, warned the West of “absolutely undesirable and rather unpleasant scenarios” if the weapons are launched inside Russian cities. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow that there will be elevated risks and consequences if Western-supplied weapons were fired against Russia. 

“This pumping of Ukraine with weapons ... will bring more suffering to Ukraine, which is merely a tool in the hands of those countries that supply it with weapons,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russia's state affiliated news agencies as saying. 

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Published June 2nd, 2022 at 20:40 IST

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