KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy late Monday dominated out holding a presidential vote within the spring and urged his countrymen to keep away from political divides, saying they have to focus all assets on combating Russia.
Zelenskyy’s feedback in a video deal with comply with growing discussions about the potential for a presidential election in March. Zelenskyy, who was elected for a five-year time period in March 2019, had beforehand averted definitive statements on the query. His associates had mentioned he was pondering varied prospects.
“Now, in wartime, when there are such a lot of challenges, it’s completely irresponsible to throw the subject of elections into society in a lighthearted and playful manner,” Zelenskyy mentioned, including that ”the waves of any politically divisive issues should cease.”
“We should understand that now could be the time of protection, the time of the battle that determines the destiny of the state and other people, not the time of manipulations, which solely Russia expects from Ukraine,” he mentioned. “I imagine that now is just not the proper time for elections.”
Ukrainian laws bans elections throughout martial regulation that has been in place since Russia launched its invasion in February 2022. The nation would wish to amend the regulation if it determined to carry the vote.
Zelenskyy, who final week rejected an evaluation from his high navy commander, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, that the conflict has grown right into a stalemate, warned towards political rifts and strongly emphasised the necessity for nationwide unity.
“We have to pull ourselves collectively, keep away from unwinding and splitting up into disputes or different priorities,” he mentioned.
Zelenskyy mentioned Ukraine’s victory “will come if all of us deal with it” and “not on politicking or looking for some private curiosity” or “disagreements that may do nothing for the nation, protection, and our development.”
Zelenskyy’s feedback got here as a high aide to Zaluzhnyi was killed by a grenade given to him as a present for his thirty ninth birthday.
Some suspected a focused assault, however Inside Minister Ihor Klymenko mentioned Maj. Hennadii Chastiakov’s loss of life was a tragic accident that additionally badly injured his 13-year-old son.
A colleague introduced six new grenades as a present to Chastiakov, who was a high aide and shut good friend to Zaluzhnyi, Klymenko mentioned.
He mentioned Chastiakov was exhibiting off the grenades to his household at house when his son took one and started twisting the ring.
“The serviceman then took the grenade from the kid and pulled the ring, resulting in a tragic explosion,” Klymenko mentioned.
The officer’s loss of life was the second deadly tragedy in lower than per week for Ukraine’s navy.
A Ukrainian brigade holding a ceremony in Zaporizhzhia to honor troops on Friday was struck by a Russian missile that killed 19 troopers, one of many deadliest single assaults reported by Ukrainian forces.
The commander of the 128th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade, Dmytro Lysiuk, was suspended as authorities examine why the Rocket Forces and Artillery Day occasion was held close to the entrance line, the place Russian reconnaissance drones may simply spot the gathering.
Ukrainian media reported that Lysiuk was late for the ceremony and didn’t undergo accidents.
“It is going to be decided who particularly violated the foundations concerning the protection of individuals within the space of the enemy’s aerial reconnaissance entry,” Zelenskyy mentioned. “There will likely be no avoidance of duty.”
Comply with AP’s protection of the conflict in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine