Zelensky says he doesn’t want Ukraine’s history to be ‘legend about 300 Spartans’ and calls for peace

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on March 3, 2022. Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

  • Zelensky says he doesn’t want Ukraine’s history to be “a legend about 300 Spartans.”
  • The Ukrainian president on Thursday called for peace during a press conference.
  • Meanwhile, delegations from Ukraine and Russia met for a second round of diplomatic negotiations.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday said he doesn’t want Ukraine’s history to be “a legend about 300 Spartans,” and called for an end to Russia’s ongoing war.

“I don’t want Ukraine’s history to be a legend about 300 Spartans,” Zelensky said during a press conference, which was translated for a broadcast

Zelensky appears to be referring to the Battle of Thermopylae during Ancient Greece in which a small group of Greek soldiers was outnumbered in the face of their Persian enemy.

“I am so confident with our military and with our people defending our state, because our state is very special and our people are very special,” Zelensky said. “I don’t want them destroyed, I want them all to remain.”

Ukrainian civilians have stepped up to help their military try to fight Russian forces, making Molotov cocktails, blocking the advancement of tanks, and staging marches in the street to cut off access to strategic locations.

Civilians have also taken up arms after Zelensky said weapons would be provided to anyone who wants to defend against Russia. 

Meanwhile, delegations from Ukraine and Russia met on Thursday for a second round of negotiations to discuss a possible ceasefire and creating humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians.

The outlook of the talks comes amid a grim warning from Paris, however. A senior French aide said that after President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Macron walked away fearing “the worst is yet to come” in Ukraine.

“I want peace, and I want peace in my country,” Zelensky said during the press conference. “We are on our land, we are ready for anything.”

Thursday’s negotiations come after Russian forces captured their first major city of the week-long military campaign that has been marked by Russia’s failure to break Ukrainian resistance.

In the last few days, though, Russian forces have increased their attacks on Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, and the second-largest city, Kharkiv, as troops reportedly fire missiles at civilian areas. 

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