Come to Kharkiv first and condemn us then, Zelenskyy tells critics of attacks on Russian oil refineries

Zelenskyy at a joint press conference with Finnish President on 3 March. Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine
Zelenskyy at a joint press conference with Finnish President on 3 March. Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine
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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has advised members of the international organisations condemning Ukrainian drone strikes on Russian oil refineries to visit the heavily bombarded Ukrainian cities and then try and condemn Ukraine.

Source: Zelenskyy at a joint press conference with Finnish President Alexander Stubb

Quote: "A big thank you to the various international organisations that are constantly condemning something.

It is very important that they do condemn and focus on the strikes on Ukraine. Some have also raised the issue of strikes on refineries [in Russia – ed.], on temporarily occupied territories where there are infrastructure facilities, as well as on Russian military airfields and captured Ukrainian ones.

Responding to these organisations is very simple.

It seems to me that to really understand how to survive in Kharkiv, how people are living with no electricity or water, people probably need to come and see, and then condemn something or not. Russia understands nothing but force.

And all the condemnations of the illegal occupation of our territory, the attacks on our energy sector, the power outages we have experienced over the past two years, the blowing up of our infrastructure facilities and hydroelectric power plants... All these condemnations have not led to any reduction in the Russian Federation’s attacks.

This shows that these people only understand when there is a powerful response, so I believe that our Western partners should support Ukrainian responses."

Details: The president of Finland supported Zelenskyy's position on the attacks on Russian oil refineries.


  • Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, said that oil refineries in Russia were legitimate targets of Ukraine from a military point of view. She said that in this case, Ukraine is acting in accordance with NATO standards.

  • The Financial Times learned that the United States had supposedly urged Ukraine not to hit Russian oil refineries and other energy infrastructure, as it was concerned that this could lead to higher oil prices and further escalation.

  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the United States did not have a positive attitude towards drone strikes on oil refineries in Russia, but since these were Ukrainian-made drones, no one could forbid Ukraine to strike Russian refineries.

Read more: "The burning shall continue": What lies behind Ukraine's attacks on Russia's oil refineries, and how have they impacted the Kremlin?

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