Ukraine Stopped Russian Parachute Teams Sent To Kill Zelenskyy

0
695

A new piece from TIME Magazine reveals another facet of the already remarkable, historic Ukrainian resistance to the Russian violence targeting their country. Shortly after the Russian invasion that launched the currently unfolding war, Ukraine’s “military informed [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky that Russian strike teams had parachuted into Kyiv to kill or capture him and his family,” according to TIME. Clearly, however, he’s still here — Zelenskyy has led Ukraine through a consistently courageous fight against attempts by Russian leader Vladimir Putin to eliminate Ukraine’s independence. Russian forces never took the capital, Kyiv — and they never appear to have come close, either — but they’ve been in the city, having launched at least two specific attempts to storm the presidential compound, both of which the Ukrainians stopped.

As TIME summarizes what happened, “As night fell that first evening, gunfights broke out around the government quarter. Guards inside the compound shut the lights and brought bulletproof vests and assault rifles for Zelensky and about a dozen of his aides… Russian troops, [presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych] says, made two attempts to storm the compound.” Zelenskyy has consistently resisted pushes for him to travel farther from the front lines of fighting. U.S. and U.K. personnel offered to facilitate evacuations of the Ukrainian presidential team, but according to TIME, “None of Zelensky’s advisers recall him giving these offers any serious consideration.” As of this point, Russian ground troops have been pushed back from around the capital, although threats there continue — as exemplified by the Russian missiles that recently landed in the city during a visit by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. That strike killed a journalist.

Ukrainian leaders are aggressively working on cleaning up and re-establishing normal life in areas that have been affected by Russian violence. At a recent virtual meeting of Ukraine’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Zelenskyy said: “Every day, while the whole country is fighting against the Russian invaders, we as a central and local government with our friends and partners must spend on preparations for the postwar restoration of our state.” According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, national authorities already set aside the equivalent of more than $46 million for the restoration of infrastructure. Meanwhile, the U.S. is continuing to prepare substantial assistance for Ukraine, including weapons and other forms of aid. This week, President Joe Biden requested the passage by Congress of $33 billion more in assistance for Ukraine, including weapons and economic aid. “The cost of this fight is not cheap… But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen. We either back the Ukrainian people as they defend their country or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities and aggression in Ukraine,” Biden remarked.