Ukraine’s Zelensky and his allies are calling for a greater focus on war

(Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelensky and his allies urged Ukrainians on Monday to focus fully on the war effort 18 months after Russia’s invasion began, an indication that authorities in Kiev were preparing for a long campaign .

Zelensky has long called for a greater focus on the war effort and vowed to step up action against corruption as part of Ukraine’s efforts to join the European Union.

The campaign led to the firing of Ukraine’s defense minister last week and also resulted in the jailing of a business tycoon who was once Zelenskiy’s mentor on fraud charges.

But the appeals of Zelensky and his lieutenants are louder now as the Ukrainian military presses ahead with its steady but relatively slow counteroffensive in Russian-occupied territories.

“Although today is the 565th day of this war, every individual must concentrate on the defense of the state, as in the early days,” Zelensky said in his evening video message.

“Russia is not hoping to win. The enemy just hopes we don’t stand up to it. Ukraine must stand firm. Everything that strengthens us is a priority, the only priority. There can be no weakening. We will not allow anyone to become weaker.” Ukraine.”

The leader of Zelensky’s party in parliament stressed that the president could no longer be responsible for “cobblestones, stadiums, tennis courts and other rubbish.”

“Starting from the new year, the country will have to move to a ‘war budget’ in which there will be no more spending on these things,” David Arakhamia said on Telegram. “Only defense and only weapons.”

Zelensky has made securing EU and NATO membership – both complex processes – among the top foreign policy priorities.

Western visitors remind him of the need to eradicate endemic post-Soviet corruption.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in Kiev on Monday that Ukraine still has a long way to go “in implementing the anti-oligarch law and fighting corruption.”

The Ukrainian counteroffensive launched in June focused on securing groups of villages in the east and south of the country.

Ukraine’s armed forces have recaptured some areas, but far less than last year’s progress. Russia shows no signs of slowing down in its election campaign, which it says confronts the “collective West.”

Zelenskiy has rejected criticism from Western media that the campaign is progressing too slowly, but made clear that he expects the campaign to be protracted.

In an interview with The Economist published over the weekend, Zelensky said there could be no illusion that victory would come “tomorrow or the day after.”

But it wasn’t a dream either, he said.

The war will last “as long as Russia remains on Ukrainian territory,” and Ukraine rejects “frozen conflicts” that have long existed in other post-Soviet trouble spots, he said.

Zelensky said that those who negotiated with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin were “deceiving themselves.” “The mistake is not diplomacy,” he said. “The mistake is diplomacy with Putin. He only negotiates with himself.”

(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Jamie Freed)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

Brian Ashcraft is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button