Hague help: Zelensky asks for back-up during surprise Netherlands visit

Zelensky in an office using a telephone.

Zelensky has been speaking with many world leaders on a regular basis since the Russian invasion began. Volodymyr Zelensky (via Facebook)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise appearance in the Netherlands on Wednesday, May 3.

Although the visit was unannounced, it was quickly made the news across the globe. Zelensky is expected to speak at The Hague and visit the International Criminal Court, which is in the process of investigating alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

As Zelensky made his way to the Netherlands, explosions were heard in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities. The previous day, Russia had accused Ukraine of carrying out a drone attack on the Kremlin. Zaporizhzhia and Odessa in the south were also reported to have been attacked.

Russian officials claimed that Ukraine attempted to assassinate President Vladimir Putin. However, Zelensky denied these allegations and stated that Ukraine was “defending our villages and cities.”

He also demanded more military support, including long-range weapons and fighter jets, from Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Rutte has not ruled out the possibility of sending fighter jets but did say it would be “a really big next step” speaking in December.

Zelensky’s visit came straight after another surprise visit, to Finland, where he met with leaders from all four Scandinavian countries, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

The situation remains tense, with Russia threatening to retaliate when and where it considers necessary. Some commentators have argued that the alleged drone strike on the Kremlin was internally conducted and purposefully staged by Russia.

Others disagree, stating that it would make Russia look “weak” and vulnerable.

The International Criminal Court is investigating the alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces during the conflict. The court’s investigations focus on allegations of torture, inhumane treatment, and murder.

Zelensky’s visit to The Hague and the International Criminal Court is significant as it highlights Ukraine’s commitment to holding those responsible for war crimes accountable. It is also an opportunity for Ukraine to present its case to the international community and request support in its ongoing conflict with Russia.

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