Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky whose exact location at present is a subject of international interest on Saturday attended a zoom call with American lawmakers. This might be the last time they see him alive, Zelensky told the lawmakers as he joined the private zoom call. Ukraine’s ambassador reportedly asked each of the lawmakers to not share anything on social media during the meeting for security purpose. But Republican senators Marco Rubio and Steve Daines did exactly the opposite. About 15 minutes into the meeting, they shared the screenshot of the zoom meeting, showing Zelensky live where he could be seen in his trademark army-green shirt in front of a white wall with the Ukrainian flag.Democratic representative Dean Phillips slammed the Republican Senators and said their ignorance was appalling and reckless.
“The Ukrainian Ambassador very intentionally asked each of us on the zoom to NOT share anything on social media during the meeting to protect the security of President Zelenskyy,” Dean Phillips tweeted.
“If an embattled wartime leader asks you to keep quiet about a meeting, you better keep quiet about the meeting. I’m not saying a damn thing. Lives are at stake,” Rep Jason Crow of Colorado tweeted.
Photos of the zoom call, however, appeared on social media hours after the meeting ended with Zelensky himself posting a few photos on his social media account.
Though Zelensky is active on social media and is posting videos and photos himself, his live location has been kept secret as he said he is Russia’s target no. 1. Reports claimed since the war broke out between Russia and Ukraine on February 24, Zelensky escaped at least three attempts of assassination. Before the zoom meeting, he shared a video in which he showed his Kyiv office to counter Russian propaganda that Zelensky has fled to Poland.
But all these are not live footage and do not reveal his exact location at a point in time. That’s why Ukraine had asked senators to not share anything on social media during the live zoom call. Apart from this apparent security breach, Zelensky, at one point, paused to ask American lawmakers to mute themselves, reports said.
In the Zoom meeting, Zelenksy asked US lawmakers to send planes and cut off Russian oil imports. Ukraine needs to secure its skies, either through a no-fly zone enforced by NATO or through the provision of more warplanes, he said.
(c)2022 the Hindustan Times (New Delhi)
Visit the Hindustan Times (New Delhi) at www.hindustantimes.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.