Russia calls for overthrow of Ukrainian government
By Stefan J. Bos
Shots reverberated throughout the Ukrainian capital as Russian forces entered Kyiv on Friday. Civilians tried to hide from Russian airstrikes in underground railway stations and other areas.
After taking a key airport, Moscow now says it is determined to topple the democratically elected government, which Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said was steered by what he called “neo-Nazis” and the West.
The United States and the European Union have announced sanctions against Russia. They range from freezing assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and allies to even halting a critical Russian natural gas pipeline to Europe.
Yet, unshaven and emotional, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the world had abandoned his nation. “This morning, we are defending our state alone as we did yesterday. Yet, the world’s most powerful forces are watching from afar. Did yesterday’s sanctions convince Russia? We hear in our sky and see on our earth that this is not enough,” the president said in a video message.
His sentiments are shared across the border in Hungary. Thousands of Hungarians protested near the Russian embassy in Budapest against the invasion.
One protestor said Hungary still remembers how Russian forces crushed its 1956 Revolution against Soviet domination. “As a nation that was affected by very similar things, it is almost our moral duty to show support [for Ukraine] in our own ways as much as we can, really. And I hate seeing people having to flee their country, having to flee their homes, getting killed, getting bombed. It is horrifying, so this is the least I can do,” she added about the protest.
Hundreds of people are believed to have died on both sides. But there were no signs yet Friday that Europe’s most significant armed conflict since World War Two would end soon.
Hungary and other nearby nations are expecting thousands of refugees.