On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he will begin releasing prisoners who have “real combat experience” so they can “compensate for their guilt” by fighting for Ukraine on the frontlines of its war with Russia.
Inmates who are qualified will be released from custody, equipped with military kits, and deployed to the “hottest spots” where the fighting is most intense to help with the “struggle for our state,” Zelensky explained in his early-morning public announcement.
As long as they have previous fighting experience, anyone and everyone in custody is being considered for deployment. There are even some criminals who were classified as terrorists by the country’s Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) that will be armed and sent off to battle.
“Under martial law, Ukrainians with real combat experience will be released from custody and will be able to compensate for their guilt in the hottest spots of the conflict.
All sanctions against some individuals who participated in the Anti-Terrorist Operation will be lifted. The key thing now is defense.”
The extreme decision to provide weapons to the criminals was “not easy” to make, but it was “useful,” according to Zelensky.
“We have taken a decision which is not easy from the moral point of view, but which is useful from the point of view of our defenses.”
As Russian troops continue their advances toward Kiev, Ukraine continues to seek more reinforcements despite countless citizens taking up arms already – many of whom were forced to do so after Zelensky had ordered all men aged 18-60 to remain in Ukraine and fight.
While making Monday’s announcement, Zelenzky stressed once again that everyone who can “join the struggle against the invaders must do so” – hence the need for arming prisoners and sending them into battle – and that the country is currently dedicating “every minute” to fighting Russia’s invasion. The Ukrainian President also called on Putin’s troops to lay down their weapons and leave the country immediately, warning that hundreds of Russian troops have been killed (reportedly) since the invasion was launched on Thursday.
“Abandon your equipment. Get out of here. Don’t believe your commanders. Don’t believe your propagandists. Just save your lives,” Zelensky warned.
Zelensky’s announcement comes among a bevy of mixed messages.
Earlier on Monday, diplomats from Ukraine and Russia opened negotiations on the Belarusian border to discuss a ceasefire, signaling major progress towards ending the conflict. Yet, just a short time later, Zelensky signed off on Ukraine’s application to join the European Union (EU), which will surely be counterproductive to peace talks with Moscow as Putin has firmly stated his position against the country joining western alliances like NATO.
What’s more – just hours before Ukraine submitted its application, the EU announced that it will supply the country with hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid, including fighter jets and other equipment, which immediately sparked major backlash from Moscow.
According to Daily Mail, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blasted the EU’s plans to arm Ukraine with fighter jets and other equipment, calling the move a ‘hostile action against Russia.’
For Zelensky, the move to join the EU would put Ukraine on “equal footing” with the rest of Europe, so he is pushing hard for his country to join the alliance. He says he is optimistic about it getting done.
“I’m sure it’s fair. I’m sure it’s possible,” Zelensky said on Monday.
Meanwhile, peace negotiations are set to continue throughout the week in Belarus – barring any unforeseen changes.
The post Zelensky to Arm Prisoners Who Have “Combat Experience” and Drop them in the “Hottest Spots” of the War to Fight for Ukraine and “Compensate for Their Guilt” appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.