20:40 / 26.02.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Ambassador Djamić says there are still some Croatian nationals in Ukraine

Zrinjevac Park in downtown Zagreb

Zrinjevac Park in downtown Zagreb

Foto: Emica Elvedji / PIXSELL

Fighting in Ukraine continued for a third day on Saturday, with clashes in a number of Ukrainian cities, including in Kiev in the north and Odesa in the south. Russia says it has captured the city of Mitropol in the south of the country. At least 120 thousand people are reported to have fled Ukraine, while men under the age of 60 are no longer allowed to leave the country.

On Friday night Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution denouncing its invasion into Ukraine. The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield: "You can veto this resolution, but you cannot veto our voices. You cannot veto the truth. You cannot veto our principles. You cannot veto the Ukrainian people. You cannot veto the UN Charter. And you will not veto accountability."

"You have turned Ukraine into a pawn in your geopolitical game, without any concern for the Ukrainian people. The responsibility for what is happening right now lies not just with the Ukrainian Government, but also with you too ladies and gentlemen. Today's draft resolution, your draft resolution, is nothing more than yet another brutal, inhumane move on the Ukrainian chess board," responded the Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, Vasilij Nebenzia.

With the United States, Canada and the European Union introducing sanctions against Russia, Moscow did not receive any support at the UN, with only the United Arab Emirates, India and China opting to abstain from the vote. The Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, Zhang Jun: "We have always called on all sides to seek out a reasonable solution to mutual problems through peaceful means based on equality and mutual respect. We support and encourage every effort in finding a diplomatic solution. We support Russia and Ukraine in resolving this problem through negotiations."

Assessing the situation in Ukraine and the fighting to date, Croatian security analyst Robert Barić had this to say about the conflict: "The Ukrainian Army is holding its own quite well considering the position it has found itself in. However, the primary problem is the north. It seems to me, and understandably so, that Zelensky did not expect this attack. And as such they did not mobilize their units, or at least not entirely, for the simple reason that I'm not entirely sure that Ukraine could handle that financially, and the Russian side was counting on that."

Meanwhile, according to the Croatian Ambassador to Ukraine, Anica Djamić, who called in from a bunker in Kiev, there are still a number of Croatian nationals in country: "It is a beautiful morning in Kiev today, and looking at this pretty city it ask myself: Is it possible that someone wants to destroy it? The people are in shelters and are behaving in a disciplined manner. A new curfew has been introduced from five in the afternoon until eight in the morning. Right now I don't know the exact number, but some 70 Croatian nationals are still here, and they want to leave."

Meanwhile, a small number of exchange students from Ukraine gathered in Saint Mark’s Square today to express their thanks to Croatia for its support: "Thank you so much for your support. We hope that soon enough it will all end, and thank you EU for the support. It is instrumental that we stand for each other and stand with Ukraine. Thank you so much for your support," one student said.

Messages of peace and solidarity were also sent from Zrinjevac Park in downtown Zagreb, where citizens gathered to voice their support for Ukrainians. Iva Zenzerović from the Center for Peace Studies, which organized the gathering: "We call on the government to continue with its peaceful policy as it announced when this entire situation in Ukraine started. We call on them to make use of all of its humanitarian and diplomatic mechanisms, so as to avoid a further escalation of violence in Ukraine."

Source: HRT

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