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Zelensky tells Russian troops not to trust their commanders or Kremlin propaganda: 'Just save your lives. Leave.'

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  • President Zelensky told Russian troops not to trust their commanders or Kremlin propaganda.

  • "Do not believe your commanders. Do not believe your propagandists," he said in a video message.

  • He also said Ukrainians with combat experience would be released from jails to help fight.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Russian troops on Monday that they should not trust their commanders or Kremlin propaganda.

"Throw away your equipment and leave," Zelensky said in a video statement posted on Telegram on Monday. "Do not believe your commanders. Do not believe your propagandists. Just save your lives — leave."

He added: "We dedicate every hour to strengthening our state. Anyone who can join the fight against the invaders must do so."

Zelensky also said Ukrainians with combat experience would be released from jails and prisons to help fight against Russia.

He said the decision was "not easy from a moral point of view" but "useful" for the country's protection.

"When I ran for presidency, I said that each of us is the president because we are all responsible for our state," Zelensky said. "And now it turns out that each of us is a warrior."

Fighting intensified on Monday, with dozens reportedly killed in Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian and Russian delegation were meeting along the Belarus border for talks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made outlandish claims to justify Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

He's baselessly accused Ukraine of genocide, while claiming that Russia is pursuing the "de-Nazification" of Ukraine. Zelensky is Jewish and members of his family died in the Holocaust, which underscores the bizarre and unfounded nature of Putin's rationale for this war.

Experts say Putin's aggression toward Ukraine is largely a product of his desire to reestablish Russian hegemony in Eastern Europe and countries formerly part of the Soviet Union.

Putin, a former KGB operative, has for years suggested that Ukraine is not a real country while claiming that Ukrainians and Russians are "one people."

Russia's recent assault on Ukraine does not mark the first time Putin has authorized a military operation against its next-door neighbor.

In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Since that year, Russia also supported rebels in a war against Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region.

Read the original article on Business Insider