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Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Urges Global Action in Emotional Davos Speech

January 17, 2024
Volodymyr Zelenskyy

DAVOS, Switzerland — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a powerful and emotional address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, shedding light on the critical state of affairs in Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia. Zelenskyy’s speech, marked by a pointed critique of Russian President Vladimir Putin, highlighted the destruction and continued war, coupled with a palpable frustration with the global community’s response.

In his impassioned appeal for action, Zelenskyy rebuked the prevailing international approach of avoiding escalation, arguing that such a stance only serves to strengthen Putin’s hand. The Ukrainian leader called for reinforced enforcement of sanctions, assistance in the reconstruction of Ukraine, and a resolute push toward achieving lasting peace. Zelenskyy also drew attention to the issue of war fatigue and expressed concern over the global shift in focus to other conflicts, such as the recent 100-day Israel-Hamas conflict, emphasizing that it should not diminish the urgency of the situation in Ukraine.

Despite expressing gratitude to allies for their support, Zelenskyy did not shy away from pointing out delays in aid due to political disputes among key backers, including the United States and the European Union. His presence at Davos was marked by proactive engagement with political and corporate leaders, heightened security measures, and considerable media attention. As of now, Moscow has yet to respond to Zelenskyy’s impassioned comments.

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The World Economic Forum also featured in-depth discussions on a range of global challenges and opportunities. Chinese Premier Li Qiang and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addressed issues spanning artificial intelligence to climate change. Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani shared thoughts on Middle East conflicts, emphasizing the need for a two-state solution and cautioning against military escalation.

In a surprising turn of events, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry had an unplanned meeting with Premier Li, with their conversation focusing on climate change cooperation. Amid concerns over donor fatigue in the West and potential political shifts in the U.S., Zelenskyy tirelessly sought support for Ukraine, even engaging with corporate leaders like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. The international community now waits for further developments in response to Zelenskyy’s impassioned call for action.

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