The New York TimesThe New York Times

Zelensky Steps Into a Role Few Expected: Ukraine’s Wartime President

By Valerie Hopkins

24 Feb 2022 · 6 min read

He appeared on Ukrainian television early on Thursday morning, as the threat of war was pressing down. First, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine addressed the 44 million citizens of Ukraine. Then he turned to the 144 million Russians living next door and beseeched them to prevent an attack that evoked the darkest eras in Europe since World War II.

“Listen to the voice of reason,” Mr. Zelensky said after midnight Thursday in Kyiv. “The Ukrainian people want peace.”

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