Zelensky Plans to Free Ukraine Inmates with ‘Combat Experience’ as Tensions Rise

On Monday, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine announced that his country would set free any convicted criminals “with real combat experience” to help in fighting Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion.

Last week, Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced a “special operation” in the former Soviet country, claiming that Russia needed to “de-Nazify” Ukraine after he recognized the sovereignty of two regions that composed Ukraine’s Donbas: Donetsk and Luhansk. The Russian president still has to clarify the contradiction between his claim that Ukraine’s current administration is run by “Nazis” and the fact that the Ukrainian president himself is Jewish and a descendant of veterans from World War II who fought against the Nazis – something that Zelensky himself has asked the Russian people to consider.

Before the official move to invade the entirety of Ukraine and not just the Donbas, Putin mused during a public address that the former Soviet nation has no “tradition” of being a country and that it only exists because it’s a Russian creation.

The Russian president made a choice to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine after U.S. President Joe Biden revealed in January that Washington would refrain from defending ints ally Ukraine in case a “minor incursion” was done by Russia. This statement caused the Ukrainian economy to tank and outraged Zelensky.

Watch: Video of Putin Shrugs Off World Leaders as He Attacks Ukraine…Here

Zelensky’s administration reacted to Russia’s invasion by swiftly legalizing civilian open-carry firearms. They also distributed thousands of guns and firearms, with officials claiming that the country has distributed 18,000 firearms among civilians. Additionally, the Zelensky administration has also encouraged the country’s civilians to gather Molotov cocktails and keep them in their homes to hurl at Russian “invaders.” They even posted instructions for making them online.

In a national address that he gave on Monday, Zelensky announced the has ordered to free Ukrainian prisoners “with real combat experience” and send them to go fight in the “hottest” areas of war.

“We dedicate every minute to the struggle for our state. Everyone who can join the struggle against the invaders must do so,” Zelensky stated in his speech. “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,” he added.

“We stand firm. During this time, we have experienced as much as other nations may not have in decades,” Zelensky then went on to say. “In every conversation with our partners, I hear sincere respect. Ukrainians have shown the world who we are and Russia has shown what it has become.”

The Ukrainian president also announced that, as per his administration’s estimates, over 5,000 Russian soldiers have already died in fighting against Ukraine. He also urged Russian soldiers to disobey the orders that they were given and “leave.”

“Why did you all come here? Why do the columns of our armored vehicles come against us?” Zelensky asked, addressing Russian troops. “Throw away your equipment and leave. Do not believe your commanders. Do not believe your propagandists. Just save your lives. Leave.”

Zelensky then announced that the Ukrainian government has recorded the death of 16 children and 45 injured within the five days of the ongoing war.

On Monday, at 6 A.M. local time, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry revealed that Russia has lost around 5,300 troops, around 1,000 armored vehicles, and 29 of the helicopters and other aircraft they had since the invasion began. The Russian government, however, has yet to verify these numbers and does not publicize the death tolls on both sides of the war. However, on Monday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced a list of numbers recording Ukraine’s material losses. These allegedly include “314 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 57 multiple rocket launch systems, 121 field artillery and mortars, [and] 274 units of special military vehicles.”

Also on Monday, delegations from both countries are scheduled to engage in peace talks. According to Ukrainian officials, the peace talks have started at around 4 p.m. local time in Belarus, which is a country allied with Russia on Ukraine’s border. As per a Politico Report, citing Zelensky’s office, the Ukrainian delegation is being headed by Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, adding that it will demand “an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from Ukraine.”

On Sunday, Reznkov posted on Twitter a photo with the Ukrainian president, with a caption that says, “its [sic] impossible to make the Kyiv [sic] lay down arms.”

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