President Volodymyr Zelensky remains ‘primary target for Russian aggression’, US State Department says

Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” Price said Zelensky “in many ways represents – even personifies – Ukraine’s democratic aspirations and ambitions – of the Ukrainian people.”

“So, of course, he will remain the main target for Russian aggression,” he said.

The President of Ukraine and his team “will make a decision in the coming hours, in the coming days, based on what is in their best interests, what is in the best interest of the Ukrainian people, what is in the best interest of the home Ukraine , “Price added.

Russia has launched an invasion of Ukraine Earlier, on Thursday, troops entered the former Soviet Union from three fronts and fired rockets at several locations near the capital Kyiv, in a large-scale attack that has received deep condemnation. from world leaders.

At dawn, troops and armor entered eastern Ukraine from the Russian border, as well as from Belarus in the north and from the Russian-annexed Crimea in the south.

In a video statement late Thursday, Zelensky said, “According to our information, the enemy has marked me as target number 1, my family as target number 2. They want to destroy Ukraine in terms of politics by destroying the head of state. We have information. that enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv.”

“I’m in the government neighborhood with other people,” he added.

When asked about Zelensky’s comments, Price noted that “a few weeks ago, we made the point that Russian agents had infiltrated Ukraine; they were operating inside the country.”

“I’m not in a position to tell you exactly where they are, but we do know that the Russian government arranged this and has been doing this for weeks now,” Price said. “This is part of their playbook, just as we’ve seen other elements of their playbook play out just as we warned.”

Price said he wished the US government was wrong about what it said it expected Russia to do, “but unfortunately, our information has been proven correct at every turn.”

“That is why we are deeply concerned about what we may see the Russian Federation attempt to accomplish in the coming hours, in the coming days,” he said.

In an ABC News interview taped before Zelensky’s announcement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “convinced” that Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to overthrow the Ukrainian government.

Blinken also said in a separate interview on “CBS Evening News“that Putin clearly has ambitions beyond Ukraine.” You don’t need intelligence to tell you that’s exactly what President Putin wants. He made it clear that he wanted to rebuild the Soviet Empire. In the short term, he wants to reassert his sphere of influence around neighboring countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc,” he told the magazine.

However, the top US diplomat still insists that NATO will stand in the way of Putin’s ultimate goals:

“Now, when it comes to a threat that goes beyond Ukraine’s borders, something very powerful is standing in his way. That’s NATO Article 5: An attack on one is an attack. into all.”

CNN’s Tim Lister contributed to this report.

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