Zelenskyy compares obliteration of Bakhmut to nuclear bombing of Hiroshima

Zelenskyy and Kishida

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during their meeting in Hiroshima on 21 May 2023.
Credit: Ukraine's presidential office. 

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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Hiroshima (Japan) and compared the destruction of Bakhmut to the aftermath of the nuclear strike against Hiroshima in 1945.

At Peace Memorial Park, President Zelenskyy joined Prime Minister Kishida in laying flowers tied with blue and yellow ribbons, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, below the cenotaph, the Japan Times reported.

Fumio Kishida expressed hope that nuclear bombs will never be used again by any country.

“There should be no threat — much less the use — of nuclear weapons by Russia,” Kishida said in remarks at the outset of his talks with President Zelenskyy.

President Zelensky said pictures of the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima reminded him of Bakhmut and other Ukrainian towns destroyed by the Russian invasion.

“Just the same, nothing alive left, all of the buildings have been ruined.” Zelensky said during the joint press conference with Fumio Kishida. “Russia has not used a nuclear weapon against us. But after their bombing, when you see the burned cities of Ukraine, it is similar to the photos that I’ve seen in the atomic bomb museum in Hiroshima,” Zelenskyy said.

At the same time, Zelenskyy denied that the Russian forces occupied Bakhmut in its entirety.

“I clearly understand what is happening in Bakhmut. I can’t share the military’s tactics, but a country bigger than ours cannot defeat us. A little time will pass, and we will be winning. Today our soldiers are in Bakhmut,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to Japan for its unwavering support for Ukraine.

“I am grateful to Japan for the $7.6 billion package of financial assistance that was previously allocated, as well as for the decision to accept wounded Ukrainian servicemen for treatment and 100 additional trucks,” Ukraine’s President said.

Zelenskyy praised Fumio Kishida’s personal leadership in mobilizing international support for Ukraine, particularly in the framework of Japan’s G7 Presidency.

The parties agreed to hold a Ukrainian-Japanese conference on rebuilding Ukraine and to involve private businesses in this process.

The leaders discussed the possibility of Japanese investment in the production of hydrogen, lithium batteries, automobiles, and energy equipment, as well as in the construction of overpasses and railway infrastructure.

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