World, Russia-Ukraine War

Ukrainians have strength to defend themselves, but the world must do its part: Yulia Tymoshenko

'I call on everyone who hears and sees us to help Ukraine. Support closing Ukrainian airspace to Russia,' says country's former premier

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 07.03.2022
Ukrainians have strength to defend themselves, but the world must do its part: Yulia Tymoshenko Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko

KYIV, Ukraine

Ukrainians have enough strength to defend themselves, but the international community must do its part, said Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Monday. 

"Ukrainians, our children and families are going through most difficult times right now," Tymoshenko told reporters, speaking on day 12 of the Russian war on Ukraine.

She said: "We are one as a nation, we are all together, and have enough strength to defend ourselves."

She added: "We thank all nations and countries who helped and supported us, because we could not stand without you."

On the millions of children and families displaced by Russia’s war, Tymoshenko said: "We are trying to evacuate these people as much as we can. Our families, our children are under bombardment."

They are trying desperately to protect themselves from bombardment in shelters, she added.

Tymoshenko served two terms as Ukraine’s premier, the first time for eight months in 2005 and then from December 2007 to March 2010.  

'Support closing Ukraine's airspace to Russia'

"I call on everyone who hears and sees us to help Ukraine. Support the closure of Ukrainian airspace against Russia," she urged, echoing a plea the nation’s current president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has made of the West.

"Defend and support Ukraine," she added.

Tymoshenko underlined that Russia continues to bomb and open fire on children and civilians even in humanitarian corridors, urging the people worldwide to support Ukraine, and adding: "Appeal to your presidents, parliaments, and officials so they authorize the closure of Ukrainian airspace against Russia."

Noting the attacks in the background while she was speaking to Anadolu Agency, she said: "You hear the sounds of bombs and explosions. The closure of airspace is very important for us, for our children and families."

Asked what lies in store for the capital Kyiv as Russia’s attacks intensify, Tymoshenko said: "It's difficult to give forecasts now."

The Russian side and President Vladimir Putin are "not sincere" in the ongoing peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow, she added.

Since Russia began its war against Ukraine on Feb. 24, it has drawn international condemnation, led to financial sanctions on Moscow, and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.

At least 406 civilians have been killed and 801 others injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to UN figures.

More than 1.7 million people have also fled to neighboring countries, the UN Refugee Agency said.

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