Ukraine ambassador to Singapore: 'We will resist' Russia's invasion but help needed

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Senior Editor
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Ukraine's ambassador to Singapore Kateryna Zelenko addresses reporters via Zoom on Friday, 24 February 2022 (PHOTO: Nicholas Yong)
Ukraine's ambassador to Singapore Kateryna Zelenko addresses reporters via Zoom on Friday, 24 February 2022 (SCREENSHOT: Zoom/Embassy of Ukraine in Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Ukraine will firmly resist Russia's invasion of its territory even as it urges the international community for support, said the Ukrainian ambassador to Singapore Kateryna Zelenko on Friday (25 February).

"We stay firm. We are committed. We will resist," declared Zelenko in a virtual media briefing.

How long Ukraine can hold out against the invasion will depend on the support of its Western partners and the international community, said Zelenko.

"It will depend on the reaction of the world, of our Western partners, on their readiness to provide support to Ukraine, to disengage Russia from Swift, which will be a painful measure," said Zelenko, who was referring to the global interbank payments system in response to a query from Yahoo News Singapore.

Extending military support to Ukraine is "critical", along with providing humanitarian aid to the eastern European nation from around the world and imposing financial sanctions against Russia, Zelenko added.

Asked if the Ukrainian military could possibly defeat the Russian forces, Zelenko said that there would be "huge" losses. "The most important thing is that we do not have other choice. We have a powerful enemy on our territory. And with all means which we have, we try to protect our territorial integrity."

Ongoing conflict since 2014

On Thursday, Moscow unleashed the largest attack against a European state since World War Two with a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, causing tens of thousands of Ukrainians to flee their homes, after months of tensions between both sides.

According to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky, some 157 Ukrainians died on the first day of the invasion, with 316 wounded. He also claimed that his forces had knocked out more than 50 Russian tanks, up to 130 armoured combat vehicles, seven airplanes and six helicopters.

Russia has already lost more than 450 personnel in the Ukraine invasion, according to estimates by the UK government.

US president Joe Biden imposed robust new sanctions on Russia on Thursday and deployed thousands of additional troops to Germany. However, he said that cutting Russia off from Swift is not being proposed "right now".

The current conflict follows an earlier invasion and annexation of the Crimea region in Ukraine by Russian forces in 2014. Crimea was one of the staging posts for the Russian invasion on Thursday.

The southeast region of Donbass in Ukraine has also seen armed conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces since 2014.

A woman with a backpack walks in front of a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on February 25, 2022. - Russian forces reached the outskirts of Kyiv on Friday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the invading troops were targeting civilians and explosions could be heard in the besieged capital. Pre-dawn blasts in Kyiv set off a second day of violence after Russian President Vladimir Putin defied Western warnings to unleash a full-scale ground invasion and air assault on Thursday that quickly claimed dozens of lives and displaced at least 100,000 people. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman with a backpack walks in front of a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on February 25, 2022. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

'Strong support' from Singapore

Zelenko thanked Singapore for its "strong support", alluding to a statement on Thursday from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) which strongly condemned the “unprovoked invasion” of the nation of 44 million. “We reiterate that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected,” said an MFA spokesperson.

Ukraine and Singapore are "on the same page" when it comes to protecting international law in resolving issues.

"We see a lot of messages from Singaporeans which we get from email or just from people who we know supporting us," said the ambassador, who added that her country is seeking humanitarian aid from the city-state.

"History repeats itself. That is what we know from the schoolbooks. We cannot let this happen again."

Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting