Winter will pose greater challenges in Ukraine’s fight against Russia, says Zelenskyy in AP exclusive interview

As Ukraine braces for the oncoming winter, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed concerns over the remnants, or lack thereof, of weapons and ground forces due to the war with Russia. Despite this, Zelenskyy remains resolute, emphasizing Ukraine’s determination to continue the fight.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Zelenskyy described the conflict with Russia as a new phase of war. He acknowledged that while there have been setbacks, Ukraine isn’t giving up. He expressed a degree of satisfaction with the counteroffensive but lamented the loss of lives and the shortage of necessary weapons.

Additionally, Zelenskyy voiced apprehension about the Israel-Hamas conflict overshadowing Ukraine’s war and the potential impact this might have on Western military aid. Amid the unpredictability of U.S. election year politics, Zelenskyy emphasized the pivotal role of international support in light of Russia’s invasion.

The much-anticipated counteroffensive, supported by billions in Western military aid, didn’t yield anticipated results. As winter approaches, and ammunition stockpiles dwindle, the Ukrainian military faces new challenges – including freezing temperatures and exposure in barren fields and the looming threat of Russian aerial attacks.

Zelenskyy’s concerns about the flow of military aid were echoed by White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, who assured unparalleled U.S. support for Ukraine. He highlighted the effort to secure additional assistance but underscored potential resistance from certain members of Congress.

In a strategic pivot, Zelenskyy plans to focus on boosting domestic arms production to make Ukraine militarily self-sufficient, making an urgent appeal for favourable loans and contracts from Western allies.

He remains vigilant of the shifting attention towards the Middle East, emphasizing that Ukraine’s war requires continued global support. The potential decline in economic and military assistance, due to diverting attention, poses a significant risk for Ukraine.

In light of U.S. electoral politics and public opinion, Zelenskyy underscored the cruciality of international aid, stressing that support for Ukraine also means ensuring security for Americans in the long run. With elections looming, Zelenskyy acknowledged the challenges of maintaining sustained international attention and the critical role it plays in drawing necessary support.

Pushing back against skepticism and potential obstacles, Zelenskyy seeks to navigate the complex geopolitical landscape to ensure the support necessary to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression.


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