Zelensky appeals to world leaders to attend peace summit following Kharkiv strikes — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Zelensky appeals to world leaders to attend peace summit following Kharkiv strikes

Volodymyr Zelensky in Kharkiv, 24 May 2024. Photo:  Telegram Zelenskiy / Official

Volodymyr Zelensky in Kharkiv, 24 May 2024. Photo: Telegram Zelenskiy / Official

One day after a Russian attack on a busy hypermarket in the eastern city of Kharkiv which killed 16 people and injured 40 more, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to world leaders on Sunday to attend a peace conference planned in Switzerland next month.

In a video message in English posted on his Telegram channel, Zelensky, wearing his trademark green t-shirt, spoke to the world from the burnt out site of a Kharkiv printing press that was attacked on Thursday, killing seven.

Zelensky reiterated that no country was capable of fighting such a war alone, stressing that Kharkiv was exposed to constant terror due to its proximity to the Russian border and the enemy’s indiscriminate use of S-300 missiles.

Aftermath of attack on printing press in Kharkiv. Photo:  Telegram Zelenskiy / Official

Aftermath of attack on printing press in Kharkiv. Photo: Telegram Zelenskiy / Official

Saying global efforts to make peace were needed to counter Russian disingenuousness and “lies”, Zelensky said that more than 80 countries had already agreed to attend the conference, which is due to start on 15 June.

Zelensky called on US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping to demonstrate their “personal leadership” by attending the peace conference, adding that Ukraine did “not want the UN charter to be burnt just like these books”.

Ukrainian national broadcaster Suspilne reported on Sunday that fire crews had worked overnight to bring the fire at the Epitsentr hypermarket in Kharkiv under control. The attacks on Saturday came amid a fresh Russian offensive against the Kharkiv region, which began on 10 May, since when Russian troops have managed to advance several kilometres into the region.

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