Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Ukraine is ready to launch a sensational counter-offensive to retake areas of Russian-occupied territory.
In an interview with the the wall street journalZelenskyy insisted: “We firmly believe that we will succeed.”
“I don’t know how long it will take,” he continued. “To be honest, it can go different, completely different ways. But we will do it and we are ready.
The planned counteroffensive comes after President Joe Biden poured more than $75 billion into the conflict, while Zelenskyy said last month that the attack would only be possible when more armored vehicles arrived on the lines of the battle. forehead.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, pictured on June 2, 2023, announced that the Ukrainian army was preparing a counter-offensive against Russian forces
In recent weeks, Ukrainian military officials have stepped up strikes against Russian ammunition depots.
And amid a period of dry weather in the region that is preparing battlefield conditions, anticipation has grown for the long-awaited counter-offensive.
However, Zelenskyy admitted that Russia’s air dominance could be devastating, as he predicted that his army would suffer heavy losses.
“A lot of soldiers will die,” he said.
His comments came as Ukraine continues to push for NATO membership, but he admitted he did not expect to join while the conflict was ongoing.
Instead, he said he was looking to commit to Ukraine being admitted later, which he plans to achieve at a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July.
“If we don’t get a signal in Vilnius, I think it’s useless for Ukraine to be at this summit,” he said.
Asked if he thought the crucial deal would be reached at the summit, he replied: “I don’t know”. Honestly, I do not know.
Ukrainian military forces received billions of dollars in funding ahead of their counteroffensive
Zelenskyy admitted his latest push could mean ‘a lot of soldiers will die’
Zelenskyy also intervened in the upcoming US presidential election, where the two frontrunners for the GOP nomination, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, have indicated they will reduce America’s role in the dispute.
The former president declined to say last month whether he would back Ukraine if he won a second term, but he vaguely promised to end the war within 24 hours.
And DeSantis sparked controversy in March when he described the conflict in Ukraine as a “territorial dispute”, comments he has since backtracked.
Zelenskyy expressed concern that a change in administration could affect his plans to counter the Russian invasion.
“In a situation like this, when there’s support, you’re afraid of change,” he said.
“And to be honest, when you mention a change in administration, I feel the same way as anyone else – you want changes for the better, but it can also be the other way around.”
Ukraine’s president admitted Trump’s claim that he could end the war in a day left him puzzled because he hadn’t when Russia had already invaded Crimea and was making new plans of invasion while he was in power.
“I don’t know how Trump would have acted,” he added.
Former President Donald Trump (left) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) have indicated they may seek to reduce America’s role in the Ukraine conflict.
Looking ahead as he tries to gain military support ahead of his counter-offensive, Zelenskyy noted his efforts to win international support in the conflict.
The leader of this effort is a summit he is trying to forge around his 10-point peace plan, calling on all Russian forces to withdraw from Ukrainian territory.
“Putin must know that people will not shake his hand, that he no longer sits at the table of serious countries, that Russia is not part of international organizations,” he added.
However, he insisted that China, which has not publicly condemned the Russian invasion, will have an important role to play in ending the war.
“I wouldn’t want such a country to sit idly by and watch people die,” he said. “If you’re great, that’s what national greatness means. It is not a painting or a museum; it is a real bloody war.