KYIV - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said Russia is preparing to bomb Odessa, a strategically important port city on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. “Russian people always used to come to Odessa and they only knew warmth and generosity and what’s now? Artillery, bombs against Odessa. This will be a war crime. This will be historic crime”, Zelensky said in a broadcast address on Facebook.

Switching from speaking Ukrainian to Russian, Zelensky appealed to the Russian people to make a choice “between life and slavery.”

People of Russia … this is the time when you can still win over the evil,” he said.

“We are Ukrainians. We need peace. We want peace. And for Russian citizens it’s not only the fight for peace in Ukraine but for your peace and for your freedom. You used to see it. You knew prosperity…If you will be silent now, then only your poverty will speak for you”, Zelensky continued.