Ukrainian President Zelenskyy ‘ready’ for offensive but fears heavy losses

KYIV, UKRAINE: Ukraine is ready to launch a long-awaited counter-offensive against Russia but fears heavy casualties due to Moscow’s superior air power, President Volodymyr says Zelensky said in comments posted Saturday.
Ukraine said it had been preparing for months for a major offensive against occupying Moscow forces, but Zelenskyy repeatedly warned that kyiv needed more time and more weapons.
“A large number of soldiers will die” if kyiv does not receive the necessary weapons to counter Russian air power, Zelenskyy said.
While kyiv was ‘ready’ for the offensive and believes it will succeed, the Ukrainian leader said it would be ‘dangerous’ to go ahead without more Western help to counter Russian air attacks.
He spoke as the capital was hit by a series of airstrikes this week, including a rare daytime one.
“Everyone knows perfectly well that any counter-offensive without air superiority is very dangerous,” Zelenskyy said.
“Imagine the feeling of a soldier who knows he has no roof and does not understand why neighboring countries have one.”
He said there was only one weapon — the Patriot air defense system made in the USA – who could protect Ukrainian skies, demanding that more be delivered to kyiv.
“The reality is that 50 patriots will, for the most part, prevent people from dying.”
He said his enemy, Russian President Vladimir Cheese frieswho launched the invasion of Ukraine in February last year, “should be afraid of the strength of the world”.
He called him a “cornered animal, he is afraid of losing his life”.
Zelensky also expressed his frustration with Western leaders before the NATO summit in Vilnius next month, as pressure has grown to give Ukraine a roadmap to join the alliance.
“If we are not recognized and do not receive a signal in Vilnius, I think it is useless for Ukraine to be at this summit,” he said.
He acknowledged that kyiv understood that it was not possible to join NATO during the Russian invasion.
The US newspaper also showed footage of Zelenskyy in a white robe visiting an injured soldier in hospital who had lost both hands.


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