Russia-Ukraine war: Zelensky admits slow progress in Ukraine war
In the midst of the Russia-Ukraine war, Zelensky admits the Ukrainian military offensive to retake Russian-occupied territories is making slow progress.
A week into Ukraine’s military offensive to retake Russia-occupied territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledges battlefield progress has been slower than expected.
He told that some people believe this is a Hollywood movie and expect results now. It is not.
The lives of people are at stake.”
So far, Ukraine has reclaimed eight villages in Zaporizhzhia in the south and Donetsk in the east.
According to Zelensky, Russian forces mined 200,000 square kilometers (77,220 square miles) of Ukrainian territory.
We will advance on the battlefield in the manner we deem appropriate, regardless of what others might want, Mr Zelensky said.
Nato should provide Ukrainians with security guarantees, but membership in the defensive alliance was the ultimate goal.
During this week’s summit in Lithuania, NATO’s secretary general made it clear that Ukraine was not going to be invited.
As the Ukrainian leader put it: “[Jens] Stoltenberg knows my position, and we’ve told them numerous times not to take away our ground.”
Adding that Ukrainian fighter pilots could start training as early as August, and the first jets could arrive within six to seven months, the Ukrainian leader argued for receiving US-made F-16s.
According to Mr Zelensky, the private sector can play a key role in helping rebuild his country during the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London. Afterwards, he spoke at the conference along with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
In 2022, Ukraine’s economy shrank by 29.2%, and the World Bank estimated that reconstruction and recovery would cost $411 billion (£339 billion).
As the Ukrainian leader told that he needed support not just for recovery, but also for transformation.
Among the “quick steps” he said were finding places for people to live, rebuilding the destroyed Kakhovka dam, and decentralizing the energy grid.
As far as the larger scale is concerned, Ukraine is being transformed,” he explained. Ukraine’s energy, agricultural, and industrial complexes are not the only things we can see here, but its reforms as well.”
In addition to “digitalization of Ukraine,” he discussed judicial reform and anti-corruption measures.
I asked him what the endgame of the war looked like at this point, and he replied that Ukraine would never sit down with whoever was president in Moscow if Russia remained on its soil.
We will not accept a frozen conflict, no matter how far our counter-offensive advances. That is war, and that is a prospectless development for Ukraine.”
In recent days, Russia announced that it had moved tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, and President Biden warned that Vladimir Putin could use them.
As a result, I asked Mr Zelensky if that threat worried him.
“Putin has been a danger to us since he occupied the first of our territories in 2014,” he said.
I don’t think he is ready to use nuclear weapons because he is scared for his life and he loves it very much. It is impossible for me to say for sure, especially about someone who has no ties to reality and launched a full-scale war against their neighbor in the 21st century.
I also asked him what he thought of President Putin telling an international conference in St Petersburg last week that he was a disgrace to the Jewish people. The question clearly caught Mr Zelensky off guard, since he lost many relatives during the Holocaust, including his grandfather.
After taking a deep breath and putting his head down, he replied that he wasn’t quite sure what to say.
Apologies, but he is the second king of antisemitism after Hitler. It’s like he doesn’t fully understand what he says.
I was grateful for the support I received from the world, since it was important to hear the reaction of the world. A civilized world cannot speak in that way.