Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of "following the devil" and waging a war to ensure that its President Vladimir Putin remains in power "until the end of his life", a media outlet reported.
Zelensky switched to speaking Russian in his nightly address to send a message to the Kremlin and Russian citizens, as Moscow launched a series of deadly strikes that swept several regions of Ukraine ahead of New Year, CNN reported.
"All this war that you are waging, you - Russia, it is not the war with NATO, as your propagandists lie," Zelensky said."It is not for something historical. It's for one person to remain in power until the end of his life. And what will be with all of you, citizens of Russia, does not concern him," he was quoted as saying by CNN.
Zelensky said "Russian leader is hiding behind the troops, behind missiles, behind the walls of his residences and palaces" and behind his people. "He hides behind you and burns your country and your future. No one will ever forgive you for terror," Zelensky emphasised.
Zelensky said "most of the Russian missiles intercepted by air defence forces.""If it were not for air defence, the number of casualties would have been different. Much bigger," he stressed. "And this is yet another proof for the world that support for Ukraine must be increased."
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal earlier said Moscow wants to cause darkness and leave the country "in the dark for the New Year."Moscow intends to "intimidate, leave us in the dark for the new year, cause as much damage to civilian infrastructure as possible," Shmyhal said on Telegram.