Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday that “Ukrainians with real combat experience with be released from custody” to help defend the country against invasion by Russia.
“We dedicate every minute to the struggle for our state,” Zelenskyy said during his address Monday, according to the National News Agency of Ukraine.
“Everyone who can join the struggle against the invaders must do so. Therefore, the decision was made, not simple from a moral point of view, but useful in terms of our protection.
“Ukrainians with real combat experience will be released from custody and will be able to compensate for their guilt in the hottest spots. All sanctions against some individuals who participated in the Anti-Terrorist Operation will be lifted. The key thing now is defense.”
The president noted this was a difficult decision to make based on his morals, but said it was necessary “in terms of our protection,” according to Newsweek.
“When I went to the presidency, I said that each of us is the president, because we are all responsible for our country, for our beautiful Ukraine, and now it has happened that each of us is a warrior,” he added. “And I am sure that each of us will win.”
Zelenskyy went on to call for Russian troops to “Abandon your equipment. Get out of here. Don’t believe your commanders. Don’t believe your propagandists. Just save your lives.”
He also called on the European Union to immediately admit Ukraine as a member.
“Our goal is to be together with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be on an equal footing,” he said. “I’m sure it’s fair. I’m sure it’s possible.”