Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has revealed that his country’s future depends on the success of the ongoing counteroffensive against Russia.
After Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022, Russia annexed four regions of Ukraine, controlling 20% of Ukranian territory.
On the 4th of July, Ukraine began it’s counteroffensive, after receiving billions of dollars of military equipment from the West and undergoing months of training.
Zelenskyy now says he believes that if the Kremlin loses this battle, it will ultimately lose the war and that is why Russia is putting up a desperate fight in the face of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
“Our heroic people, our troops on the front of the front line are facing very tough resistance,” he said in an interview in his presidential office in Kyiv to NBC news on Thursday, June 15.
“Because for Russia to lose this campaign to Ukraine, I would say, actually means losing the war.”
Zelenskyy said the news from the front lines was “generally positive, but it’s very difficult,” adding that the slow supply of new Western weapons such as fighter jets was helping Russia’s defensive effort.
He also responded to former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Republican presidential candidates who have questioned continued American military support for Kyiv. Zelenskyy invited them to come to Ukraine, warning that his country’s defeat would only mean a wider conflict with Moscow later.
Kyiv has claimed incremental gains in the opening stages of its campaign, but no breakthrough yet against tough Russian defenses in Ukraine’s south and east.
“I understand that there is bureaucracy,” Zelenskyy said. “But we are losing time, we are losing people, and, the most important thing, we are losing our advantage” and “Russia is controlling the air.” Analysts have said that Russia’s aerial dominance is a significant factor in the battles being waged across the front lines.
“Ukraine wants to be able to compete in the air — let us do it today,” Zelenskyy said. And drip feeding F-16s and other weapons “means the war will last longer,” he added. “It’s not Ukraine against Russia, Russia is fighting against the civilized world.”