New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday called on the Ukrainian army to overthrow the leadership in Kyiv which he termed a “gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis”.
In a televised address Friday, Putin urged the Ukrainian military to “take power” in its hands, the Reuters reported.
“It seems like it will be easier for us to agree with you than this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis,” he added, referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who is Jewish.
The Russian president also reiterated his claim that the Kyiv leadership engaged in “genocide” in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
“We are fighting with nationalist groups that are directly responsible for the genocide of the Donbas and the bloodshed of peaceful civilians in the two republics.”
Russian forces, meanwhile, continued their offensive on Ukraine, with ‘rocket strikes’ hitting the capital Kyiv, while the US and its allies imposed another round of stiff sanctions on Russia.
Ukrainian President Zelensky had Thursday signed a decree ordering general mobilisation in the wake of Russia’s military operation. Zelensky also said that 137 people have been killed so far in attacks on Ukraine. Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had also confirmed air strikes on Kyiv, saying “the last time our capital experienced anything like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany”.
Residents in the eastern European nation, meanwhile, have come together to help the country’s military. London-based blockchain analysis firm Elliptic Friday published data that revealed over $4 million have been collected as part of a crowdfunding effort by NGOs and volunteers in Ukraine.
The donation is in the form of cryptocurrency to the country’s armed forces.
“On 24 February alone, one NGO received over $675,000 in Bitcoin, and by 9.30 am on the 25th, it had already received more than $3.4 million – over $3 million of which was sent by a single donor. This pushes the total raised by these groups since the start of the invasion, to over $4 million,” Elliptic revealed.