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“They are accustomed to the news of the new bombing of our peaceful cities. Of the new missile strikes. They are accustomed to the updated lists of the dead,” Zelensky said in a speech to the Dutch parliament.
“For many … the war in Ukraine has become routine,” he added.
Zelenskyy released a series of virtual addresses for the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia Thursday in an appeal for more help.
While he thanked each country for the assistance they had already provided, the Ukrainian leader reprimanded some of Belgium’s recent imports from Moscow.
“There are people who consider Russian diamonds, sometimes sold in Antwerp, to be more important to them,” he said in a speech to the Belgian parliament. “People who accept Russian ships in their ports, for whom the income from these ships is more important than our struggle.”
“I think peace is much more important than diamonds,” Zelensky added.
An estimated 86 percent of the world’s diamonds are traded in Antwerp – an industry that has so far escaped international sanctions.
Once again, Zelensky warned European leaders that Moscow’s aggression will not stop in Ukraine if Russian President Vladimir Putin is not stopped.
He warned, “The Second World War began with the destruction of individual nations as well. Then it led to the tragedy of Rotterdam, the horrific bombing of London and the massacre that swept all of Europe.” Ukraine is only the beginning, if Russia does not stop.
Zelensky said that Russia’s humanitarian atrocities lie outside the barrage of bombardments that Ukrainians have suffered over the past five weeks and claimed that Ukrainians are now being forcibly deported back to Russia.
The Ukrainian president claimed that thousands of Ukrainian children and tens of thousands of adults were forcibly deported across the Russian border from the southern city of Mariupol, adding that he had no information on their whereabouts now or their condition.
Zelensky said he was grateful for the support provided by the United States, NATO and non-NATO allies to counter the Russian invasion, but said he needed more to continue to fend off the Kremlin’s advance, including more anti-tank air defense systems.
“We urgently need weapons that can make our skies safe, and we can use them to unlock our cities where Russia is artificially creating famine,” he told government officials in the Netherlands.
Zelensky issued a similar plea earlier this week to President Biden, who agreed to send another $500 million in aid on Wednesday — bringing the total amount of U.S. security and humanitarian support for Kiev to $2.5 billion.
But the comedian-turned-global icon pressured major countries to do more by imposing another round of sanctions on the Kremlin as Moscow began to see the value of the ruble rise again.
Zelensky said he was now looking to the future when “Ukraine will return to a peaceful life” and called on both Australia and the Netherlands to take an active role in rebuilding devastated cities and towns.
“We invite the world’s leading countries, leading companies and the best specialists to join the project of reconstruction of Ukraine. Be sure to nurture a region, city or industry of your choice in our country that needs restoration,” he told the Australian Parliament.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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