Western countries should close their borders to all Russians, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told The Washington Post newspaper.
According to him, “the most important sanctions are to close the borders — because the Russians are taking away someone else’s land.” He said that Russians should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy.” In his opinion, this should also involve those Russians who left the country protesting the government’s actions. “Whichever kind of Russian <… > make them go to Russia,” he said.
In his opinion, the entire Russian population should be held responsible. “The population picked this government and they’re not fighting it, not arguing with it, not shouting at it,” he noted. Zelensky also criticized the current sanctions as weak and ineffective.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.” Following this, the US and its allies announced the introduction of sweeping sanctions against Russia and stepped up arms deliveries to Kiev.