WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday called the Russian invasion in his country a genocide, after the country shared new startling images of dead Ukrainian civilians in the streets.
Zelenskyy pleaded for more security promises from the United States and NATO as Russia continues to terrorize the country. U.S. military officials insisted they are doing everything they can to help the Ukrainian people.
On CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday, Zelenskyy said Russian President Vladimir Putin is out to destroy his country.
“This is genocide,” Zelenskyy said. “Elimination of the whole nation and the people.”
The comments came after Ukraine shared images of the executions of Ukrainian civilians near Kyiv. Zelenskyy said despite Russia’s recent withdrawal of troops in the area, the violence is building up in other parts of the country.
He said the U.S. and NATO allies must do more to ensure Ukraine’s sovereignty.
“Because if tomorrow the war starts again, and only sanctions will have been introduced, well that’s about nothing,” Zelenskyy said.
The White House and NATO allies have stopped short of outlining what additional steps it will take if fighting intensifies, but on Friday the Pentagon announced it is sending another $300 million worth of military supplies to help Ukrainians push back against Russia.
Russia is building its forces up in the northern and eastern regions of Ukraine.
On NBC’s Meet the Press, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he believes Russia isn’t backing down.
“They may be regrouping,” Blinken said. “They may be focusing on the east, but let’s keep in mind they still have the ability to reap massive death and destruction, including in places like Kyiv, including with air power and missiles. … We’re focused on what they’re doing not what they’re saying”
Blinken called for a war crimes investigation and for more sanctions against Russia following the new images of mass graves in Ukraine.
Zelenskyy said he’s keeping the door open to peace talks, but he said he want’s 100% withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
“We don’t want hundreds of thousands, millions to die,” Zelenskyy said.
The Russian government is calling the new footage fake.