Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska could be seen smiling as delegates to the United Nations General Assembly warmly applauded her husband after his address on Wednesday night.
In his address to the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Zelensky spoke out against Russia’s unprovoked invasion of his country, which has been going on for seven months.
Mr Zelenski told the UN General Assembly that his country was “ready for peace”, adding that his plan set the “preconditions for peace” and could work for “anyone who might find themselves in similar circumstances”.
He told diplomats that his plan included “punishment for aggression, protection of life, restoration of security and territorial integrity, security guarantees and determination to defend ourselves.”
Mr Zelensky, who appeared in his trademark olive green T-shirt, also said in his speech that Ukraine would eventually expel all Russian troops from its borders.
“We can return the Ukrainian flag to our entire territory. We can do it by force of arms,” the president said. “But we need time.”
The UN General Assembly last week voted to allow speeches via video link due to the ongoing conflict in the country.
Mr Zelenskiy’s speech came after Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced the “partial mobilization” of 300,000 reservists to fight in badly depleted Russian forces in Ukraine.
It is the first conscription of its kind in Russia since the Second World War and has met with a certain degree of opposition in the country.
Russian independent human rights group OVD-Info says more than 1,000 protesters have been arrested since Putin’s announcement.
US President Joe Biden also focused on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine in his speech on Wednesday.
“This war is about destroying Ukraine’s right to exist as a country, plain and simple, and Ukraine’s right to exist as a nation. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, it should make your blood run cold,” Mr. Biden said.
“If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequence, then we threaten everything this institution stands for. Everything.”