WP: Minister Monastyrskyi informed Zelensky about the invasion. And on February 24, the Kremlin called the OP and demanded to surrender

Anhelina Sheremet

The American newspaper The Washington Post made a large article about the defense of Kyiv for the Independence Day of Ukraine. Among other things, it contains interesting details — who informed President Volodymyr Zelensky about the start of the war and about the call from the Kremlin on February 24.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Denys Monastyrskyi, informed the president about the start of the war, who was previously called by the head of the Border Service and informed about the fighting in three border regions. Monastyrskyiʼs dialogue with Zelensky looked like this:

  • "It has begun," said Monastyrskyi.
  • "What exactly?" Zelensky asked.
  • "Considering the fact that shelling continues in different places at once, this is it," Monastyrskyi clarified, adding that it is similar to a full-scale attack on Kyiv.

Also, on the first day of the full-scale Russian invasion, February 24, the head of the Presidentʼs Office, Andriy Yermak, received a phone call from the Kremlin. The phone rang once, then again. Yermak answered and heard the hoarse voice of Dmitry Kozak, the deputy head of Putinʼs administration. Kozak said that the time has come for Ukrainians to surrender. Yermak cursed the Cossack and hung up.

On February 26, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov had a conversation with his Belarusian colleague Viktor Khrenin (the previous conversation was on February 22, and Khrenin assured that there would be no offensive from the territory of Belarus). This time, the Belarusian minister said that he was conveying the message of his Russian colleague, Sergei Shoigu: "If Ukraine signs the act of surrender, the invasion will stop." Reznikov replied: "I am ready to accept capitulation from the Russian side."

Zelenskyi has now told The Washington Post that Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov will eventually need to see a therapist because he is so emotionally and physically exhausted.

The head of the OP Andriy Yermak told reporters that he regularly sent photos of killed Ukrainian children and destroyed houses to the mobile phones of officials around the world, including White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, and members of Congress.

"These were horrible pictures that kept me up at night. Ninety percent of people who received them reacted, called back and started doing even more," Yermak added.