Zelenskyy: Russia is ‘torturing and kidnapping’ children, while Mariupol is ‘completely destroyed’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy , in a speech Tuesday to Italy’s parliament, accused Russian soldiers around Kyiv of “torturing and kidnapping children” while declaring that the eastern city of Mariupol is “completely destroyed.” 

“Kyiv has been through harsh wars throughout its history. After all of the victims and sacrifice it deserves to live in peace just as the same as Rome deserves to live in eternal peace, or any other city in this world,” Zelenskyy told Italian lawmakers. “Unfortunately, this is not the case. The bombs are falling every day, these attacks are happening in Kyiv and around towns in Kyiv. Russian troops around Kyiv are killing and torturing.  

“They are torturing and kidnapping children, they are stealing what we have there, robbing everything,” Zelenskyy continued. “This is what happened in Europe last time due to the Nazis when they were occupying other countries.” 

Zelenskyy said as of Tuesday, 117 children have died in the war in Ukraine. 

“This is the price of procrastination of pressure on Russia to stop this war,” he told Italy’s parliament. “There are thousands of injured people, tens of thousands of destroyed families and hundreds of thousands of lives ultimately destroyed and abandoned houses.” 

Zelenskyy also declared that Mariupol is “completely destroyed.” 

“Russian artillery and missiles are not stopping destroying Ukrainian cities. Some cities like Mariupol as you have heard have been completely destroyed,” he said. “This city had around half a million people living there before. This is close to what you have in Genoa in Italy and now in Mariupol there is nothing but ruins.” 

Zelenskyy urged lawmakers to secure peace and end the conflict by ramping up sanctions on Russia and its oligarchs. 

“Don’t be a resort for murderers – block all of the real estate, all of their yachts, all of their bank accounts,” he said. “Freeze all of their assets. Let them use their influence but only for peace.” 

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