Feb 26, 2022 - World

Poroshenko: "To protect the nation ... brings the risk for your own life"

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Saturday, "I’m ready, unfortunately yes," when asked if he was prepared to die in Kyiv as Russian military forces resume their offensive.

Why it matters: It's a unifying decision that echos that of President Volodymyr Zelensky, who defeated Poroshenko in 2019, and has also remained resolute in his determination to stay put.

  • Poroshenko and Zelensky have been fierce rivals with the former president blaming his successor for leveling treason charges, which he has insisted are politically-motivated.

Driving the news: "To protect the nation against Russian aggression definitely bring the risk for your own life," Poroshenko, wearing a flak jacket, told CNN from the streets of Kyiv.

  • "Everybody here, all the young and old people, fully understand that we have this risk. Somebody has a choice to go abroad. Somebody has a choice to be the refugee on some regions of Ukraine. But many, the biggest part, make a decision to take the rifle and to protect the nation."
  • "I’m proud of these people. I'm proud for this country. I’m proud to be Ukrainian," he said.

Go deeper: The latest on the Russia-Ukraine crisis

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