Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky has called on the West to ban all Russians from entering their countries in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The embattled president urged world leaders to close their borders to all citizens of the invading nation in a bid to further punish the Kremlin for its savagery.
He told the Washington Post: ‘The most important sanctions are to close the borders — because the Russians are taking away someone else’s land.’
He added Russians should be forced to ‘live in their own world until they change their philosophy.’
The Ukrainian leader wants the West to close its borders for a year to Russian citizens and impose a full embargo on the purchase of Russian energy.
While Russian airlines have been banned from flying over much of Europe and the US, there is no blanket ban for citizens travelling.
Some say refusing entry to Russians would likely impact those who are leaving the country precisely because they disagree with Putin’s regime.
But Zelensky said: ‘Whichever kind of Russian… make them go to Russia.
‘They’ll understand then. They’ll say, ‘This [war] has nothing to do with us. The whole population can’t be held responsible, can it?’ It can. The population picked this government and they’re not fighting it, not arguing with it, not shouting at it.’
In the last 24 hours, at least three Ukrainian civilians were killed and 23 others were wounded by Russian shelling, including an attack not far from a Russian-occupied nuclear power plant.
Putin’s men fired over 120 rockets from Grad multiple rocket launchers at the southern town of Nikopol, which is across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
Several apartment buildings and industrial facilities were damaged, he said.
Ukraine and Russia accused each other in recent days of shelling the nuclear plant, which is the largest one in Europe, and increasing the risks of a nuclear accident.
In his nightly video address, Zelensky invoked the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine, which at the time was a Soviet republic. He called for new sanctions against Russia ‘for creating the threat’ of another nuclear disaster.
‘We are actively informing the world about Russian nuclear blackmail – about the shelling and mining of the Zaporizhzhia NPP facilities,’ Zelenskyy said.
‘Russia will not pay attention to words and concerns…The Chernobyl disaster is an explosion in one reactor; the Zaporizhzhia NPP is six power units.’