Ukraine’s president is rejecting Moscow’s claim that his country poses a threat to Russia and warns that a looming Russian invasion could cause tens of thousands of deaths.
President Volodymyr Zelensky made the comments in a video address early on Thursday.
Speaking emotionally in Russian, he said: “The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace.
“But if we come under attack that threaten our freedom and lives of our people we will fight back.”
Mr Zelensky said he tried to call Russian President Vladimir Putin late on Wednesday but the Kremlin remained silent.