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Ukraine need more time for counter-offensive – Zelensky

Di expected attack fit be di big decider for di war, redrawing frontlines wey, for months, never change.

E go also be crucial test for Ukraine, wey dey eager to prove say di weapons and equipment wey im don collect from di West fit result in significant battlefield gains.

Speaking for im headquarters for Kyiv, President Zelensky describe combat brigades, some of dem wey Nato kontris train, as “ready” but say di army still need “some tins”, including armoured vehicles wey dey arrive in “arriving in batches”.

“Wit [wetin we already get] we fit go forward, and, I tink, dey successful,” im tok for one interview for public service broadcasters wey be member of Eurovision News, like BBC.

“But we go lose a lot of pipo. I tink dat dey unacceptable. So we need to wait. We still need a bit more time.”

Wen and wia Ukraine push go happun na secret. Russian forces, meanwhile, don fortify dia defences along one frontline wey runs for 1,450km from di eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, to Zaporizhzhia and Kherson for south.

In recent weeks, Ukraine authorities try to lower expectations of one breakthrough, publicly and in private.

One senior goment official, wey tok on condition of anonymity, say di kontri leaders “understand say [dem] need to dey successful” but say make dem no see di assault as “silver bullet” for war wey don nearly reach 15 month.

Di president, however, say im confident say Ukraine military fit advance, come warn of di risk of “frozen conflict” wey imm say na wetin Russia dey “count on”.

For Kyiv, any result wey dem see as disappointing to di West fit mean say dem go reduce military support and pressure to negotiate wit Russia.

Wit nearly one fifth of di kontri under Russian control, and President Vladimir Putin declaring annexation of four regions wey im force dey partially occupy, dis go possibly include discussions about land concessions.

“Everyone go get idea,” President Zelensky tok. “[But] dem no fit pressure Ukraine into surrendering territories. Why any kontri for world go give im territory to Putin?”

Zelensky dismiss fears about losing US support if President Joe Biden, wey vow to support Ukraine as long as it takes, no dey re-elected for 2024.

Ukraine, im tok, still dey enjoy bipartisan support for US Congress. “Who know wia we go dey [wen di election hapun]?” im say. “I believe we go win by den.”

For now, e no get any real possibility of tok tok to end di conflict, as both sides say dem go fight until victory.

President Zelensky don offer 10-point peace proposal, wia im call for di return of all invaded territory, reparation payments for war-related damages and di creation of special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes, plan wey Moscow flatly reject.

Western sanctions, di president say, dey get impact on Russia defence industry – im mention shortage of missiles stockpiles and shortages of artillery.

“Dem still get a lot of warehouse dem but… we already see say dem don reduce shelling per day for some areas.”

Moscow, however, don find ways to bypass some of di measures, im tok, and ask kontris to target di pipo wey dey help Russia go around di bans.

Zelensky again reject Russian accusation say Ukraine dey behind one alleged drone attack on Kremlin last week, wey Moscow describe as attempt to assassinate President Putin.

Di Ukraine leader say im believe say di obvious attack fit be false flag operation, wey Russia do imsef, and say Moscow dey use am as “excuse” to attack im kontri.

“Dem dey constantly look for sometin wey go sound like justification, say: ‘You do dis to us, so we do dat to you,'” President Zelensky say.

“But e no work. Even for dia domestic public, it no work. Even dia own propagandists no believe am. Because e look very, very artificial.”

Di president speak on Eurovision song contest wey dey happun for di English city of Liverpool, wey dem choose as host on behalf of Ukraine, di winner of last year event.

Im say im for prefer to see di competition for a neighbouring kontry “wia our pipo go fit travel to and dey very close” but im get “plenty respect” for Britain, an “amazing kontri”.

“Di main tinbe say di contest dey ahppun, im tok. “Make pipo show dia talent.”

Additional reporting by Rachael Thorn, Hanna Chornous and Dave Bull


Source: BBC

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