Saturday, May 18, 2024

Zelensky says Ukraine struggling in Donbass, blames west

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted that the situation on the front line in the war with Russia is deteriorating, blaming the West for its “limited” military assistance.

He echoed an earlier statement by the army’s commander-in-chief, Aleksandr Syrsky, who warned of a significant escalation in recent days, with Russian forces attacking Ukrainian positions near the cities of Lyman and Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut by Ukraine) and advancing towards Chasov Yar.

“The situation on the front during a hot war is always difficult. But these days – and especially in the Donetsk areas – it’s getting harder,” Zelensky said in an address to the nation on Sunday.

He drew a comparison with Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel on Saturday.

“Modern air power proves its effectiveness, modern air defense systems are capable of protecting lives – this was demonstrated in the Middle East,” Zelensky said, adding that the West is turning a deaf ear to Ukraine’s pleas for more funding.

“The whole world sees what real defense is. It seems that it is feasible,” he stressed, while criticizing the US Congress for holding up a proposed aid package that has been in limbo for months.

Since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022, Western backers have provided Kiev with billions of dollars in aid, with Washington alone giving over $113 billion. The White House has failed, however, to gain congressional approval for an extra $60 billion in military assistance, with Republicans in the House of Representatives insisting on stronger measures to curb illegal immigration on the southern US border.

Moscow has maintained that no amount of Western funding will change the course of its military operation.

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