The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Ukraine’s Zelensky’s message is don’t panic. That’s making the West antsy.

By David L. Stern and Robyn Dixon

31 Jan 2022 · 6 min read

KYIV, Ukraine - Ukraine's leader implored his fellow citizens to ignore the rumors of an impending catastrophe with his trademark combination of frankness and emotion, amid warnings from Washington officials that Russia could attack at any moment.

"Take a breath. Calm down," said President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video message posted on his official website on Jan. 19. That same day, President Joe Biden said he expected Russia to attack but will face a "stiff price" - another sharp contrast in the messaging from Kyiv and Washington.

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