Updated Mar 8, 2022 - World

Zelensky: "I’m not hiding. And I'm not afraid of anyone."

Photo of Volodymyr Zelensky wearing combat gear
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits border troops in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Feb. 17. Photo: Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky doubled down on his pledge to remain in Kyiv in a video message on Monday as he told the world: "I'm not hiding."

Why it matters: Zelensky has said from the beginning that he and his family will be prime targets. Ukrainian officials said last week that they were able to foil an assassination plot, but the Daily Beast reported that more attempts have been made since.

What he's saying: "Now I will say one thing: I stay here. I stay in Kyiv. On Bankova Street. I’m not hiding. And I'm not afraid of anyone. As much as it takes to win this Patriotic War of ours," Zelensky said from his office.

  • "You know, we used to say: Monday is a hard day. There is a war in the country. So every day is Monday. And now we are used to the fact that every day and every night are like that."
  • Though Russians launched a targeted offensive, Ukraine has not buckled and continues to fight back despite lack of weaponry, he said. Victory will "definitely be achieved."
  • Ukrainians in the country's southern region have particularly held down the fort and created a "nightmare" for Russian forces, Zelensky added. "They forgot that we are not afraid of paddy wagons and batons. We are not afraid of tanks and machine guns. When the main thing is on our side, truth. As it is now."
  • Negotiations have so far remained unsuccessful, but the president said that "we will insist on negotiations until we find a way to tell our people: This is how we will come to peace. Exactly to peace."

The big picture: Ukraine is on its 12th day of siege under Russian forces, with heavy shelling increasing across the nation. Russian attacks in the first week alone killed more than 2,000 civilians, according to Ukraine's State Emergency Service.

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