Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged US mayors to cut “brotherhood” ties with Russian cities and to take part in “the largest economic project of our time” by helping to rebuild Ukraine after the war, during a video address to the 90th Annual Conference of US Mayors.
“Dozens of American cities maintain the so-called 'brotherhood' with the cities of the Russian Federation,” Zelensky said, including Chicago and Moscow. “What do these connections give you? Probably nothing. But they give Russia the opportunity to say that it is not isolated, even after beginning such a war.”
“Therefore, call for even more pressure on Russia. Don’t help it justify itself. Don’t maintain ties with it. And please do not allow those who have become murderers to call you their brothers and sisters,” Zelensky said.
Since the war began, 3,620 settlements have “faced Russian occupation” and Russia has aimed almost 2,500 missiles at Ukraine, Zelensky said. He urged the mayors to take part in the vast reconstruction effort that will be needed after the war.
“I invite you -- your cities, your companies, your business and professionals -- to take part in this project. You can also become the people who choose to defend freedom and thus put an end to the history of tyranny,” Zelensky said.
“Take patronage over a city, region, or industry that has been destroyed by Russian strikes. And rebuild them with the latest technology,” he added. “This may be the largest economic project of our time, which will strengthen Ukraine, each country and each company that will participate in the post-war reconstruction.”