Ukrainian President delivers surprise virtual address at Doha Forum

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a virtual speech Saturday at the Doha Forum in Qatar, where he criticized Russia’s ongoing aggression and called on the international community to do more to help.

Zelenskyy also compared the Russian attack on the port city of Mariupol to the Russian bombardment of Aleppo during the Syrian war, where more than 400 people died.

“They are destroying our ports,” Zelenskyy said. “The lack of exports from Ukraine will be a blow to countries around the world.”

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The international impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war was a theme that the Ukrainian president repeated throughout his address. He also called on international countries to increase Ukraine’s exports, especially their energy exports.

“The future of Europe rests on your efforts,” he said.

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Zelenskyy also called on the United Nations to intervene more to prevent further aggression as a Russian nuclear threat looms.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks via video call at the Doha Forum in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, March 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Lujain Jo)
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks via video call at the Doha Forum in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, March 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Lujain Jo)
(AP Photo/Lujain Jo)

“Russia deliberately brags that it can destroy with nuclear weapons not just a certain country but the entire planet,” he said. “We must ensure that this holy month of Ramadan is not overshadowed by the misery of Ukrainians.”

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Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the keynote speaker, instead focused his comments on Qatar-Israel relations and the latter country’s treatment of the Palestinian people.

The President of the Republic of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on video, during his speech in the Italian Parliament.  Rome (Italy), March 22, 2022 (Photo by Samantha Zucchi/Insidefoto/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

The President of the Republic of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on video, during his speech in the Italian Parliament. Rome (Italy), March 22, 2022 (Photo by Samantha Zucchi/Insidefoto/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
(Photo by Samantha Zucchi/Insidefoto/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

“Similarly, there are many other people, like the Syrian people and the Afghan people, for whom the international community has failed to provide justice,” Sheikh Tamim said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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