Macron speaks with Zelensky after Russian invasion in February
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Emmanuel Macron tried to keep his cool during a phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The two leaders discuss the movement of Russian troops inside Ukraine after Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation”. As he realises the conflict has expanded from the Donbas region to the whole of Ukraine, a concerned Emmanuel Macron understands Ukraine is in the midst of a “total war”.
In a phone call with President Zelensky, the French President asked: “So, does that mean that they sent special forces everywhere in Kyiv?”
President Zelensky answered: “Everywhere.
“In Kyiv, in Odesa, and from Belarus. So, we fight everywhere on our territory. There are troops everywhere,” President Zelensky continued.
“We couldn’t imagine it – that’s not been seen like it was in 2014”, Zelensky said, as Russian troops have moved beyond the eastern Donbas region.
“So, it’s much, much more,” Mr Zelensky warned.
A visibly concerned Mr Macron said: “It’s clear. It’s total war.”
“Yes, total war,” Mr Zelensky said.
“Ok,” said a shocked Mr Macron at loss for words, “Okay.”
Mr Zelensky said with a sigh: “Yes.”
Mr Zelensky then said: “So, I think, Emmanuel, it’s very important that you speak with Putin and very important to make an anti-war coalition.
“We are sure that European leaders and Biden can connect and they call him [Putin] and say, ‘Stop’.
“He will stop. He will listen to you,” Mr Zelensky said, calling on his French counterpart to call the Russian president.
In the weeks leading up to the war, Russian troops had been amassing on the eastern and northern flanks of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin eventually launched what he termed a “special military operation” supposedly meant to bring back peace in Ukraine.
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Despite repeated warnings by President Zelensky and a war already raging on in the eastern part of the country, Western leaders failed to understand the potential of a full-blown invasion.
Vladimir Putin announced on February 24 the immediate invasion of Ukraine in a televised address to Russians.
President Macron has since tried to ease tensions with Russia by calling Putin but has so far failed to bring about a resolution to the conflict.
In their last phone call, the two leaders agreed on the need to send a delegation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant where the risk of a nuclear disaster escalated amid shelling.
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