Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says up to 100 people are being killed each day in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Russia has centered its military efforts in recent weeks.
Zelensky made the comment Sunday while speaking to press alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda. He was responding to a question about an online petition to allow men of conscription age -- between the ages of 18 and 60 -- to leave Ukraine.
The petition, posted on the Ukrainian president's official website, had gained more than 26,000 signatures as of Monday morning.
I don’t quite understand whom this petition addresses. Does this petition address me? Or, maybe this petition should address the parents of those warriors, who lost these people, because they defended Ukraine at the cost of their lives?" Zelensky said.
He added: "Today, from 50 to 100 people could be killed here in the most complicated area, in the east of our country."
"They are defending our country and our independence about which so many [people] in the world are talking about, so many are talking, but we feel it personally very, very much," the president said.
Zelensky said the petition would be considered according to the law, at the right time, and irrespective of whether he personally likes it or not.