'If Ukraine falls, so will Europe', warns Zelenskyy amid no-fly-zone calls
Ukraine's president has condemned the West and NATO for refusing to introduce a no-fly zone above the country, as ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia reports
If Ukraine falls “all of Europe will fall” in the battle for democracy and freedom, the country’s president has warned amid worsening Russian attacks.
Russia has pressed ahead with its invasion of the country for more than a week now, with allegations of indiscriminate shelling and war crimes.
The invasion’s violence has moved Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to again call for a no-fly-zone over the country and criticise NATO for its refusal to do so.
And in a virtual address to supporters in the Czech Republic on Friday night, he warned much is at stake for the continent as well as his country.
“If Ukraine doesn't sustain, the entire Europe won't either. If Ukraine falls, all of Europe will fall,” he said.
“If we win and I'm confident in our people, in you, it will be a big victory for democracy, for freedom.”
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A no-fly zone, also known as a no-flight zone, or air exclusion zone, is a territory or area established by a military power over which certain aircraft are not permitted to fly.
This could include jet fighters, drones or helicopters. Western powers have so far opposed this option, with fears it could trigger a world war.
The prime minister made clear during his trip to Estonia on Tuesday that having British service personnel enforcing a no-fly zone would be likely to mean “shooting down Russian planes.”
ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston said that would be an act of war by a Nato country against Russia and at that point we would genuinely be seeing the start of World War Three.
But Mr Zelenskyy remains critical, warning all people who die "will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your [NATO] lack of unity."
“NATO summit is a very weak and lost summit. At this summit we saw that not everyone considers the fight for the freedom of Europe its main priority,” he said.
“For nine days we've seen a harsh war. Our cities are being destroyed, our people and children, residential areas, churches, schools are being shot.
“Everything that provides people with a normal life is being shot. They want to continue it.
“Knowing that new shelling and victims are inevitable, NATO consciously made the decision not to close the airspace in Ukraine.”
Meanwhile the UN Security Council will hold an open meeting on Monday on the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine as Ukrainian leaders call for humanitarian corridors.
The UN estimates that 12 million people staying in Ukraine and four million fleeing to neighbouring countries in the coming months will need humanitarian aid.
It comes as Russia’s military pledges to observe a ceasefire in two areas of Ukraine to allow civilians to evacuate, according to Russian state media.