KYIV, Ukraine -- The president of Ukraine has stated that Russian troops are planning to capture Zaporizhzhia in the country's southeast. This would allow the Russian military closer to the center.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated Monday at a press conference that Russia was still in talks for peace. He also said that the Zaporizhzhia area, where Russia has already taken parts of it, is currently in "level zero" in peace negotiations with Russia.
Zelenskyy stated that the enemy wanted to... occupy Zaporizhzhia.
Russia already has the large Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Kherson in the south of Ukraine. Zaporizhzhia, which has a population of 1.6million, is one the largest industrial centers in the southeast of Ukraine. There are 722,000 residents in the city.
Zelenskyy said that Ukrainian troops continue to fight in the Donbas, the eastern region of the country. He said that the Ukrainian resistance in Sievierodonetsk (a region of the Donbas) continues in the Luhansk area, which is a part of the Donbas. This city is one of two important cities in the region that Russia has not taken control of.
Zelenskyy stated that there are more of them and they are stronger, but that we still have the chance to fight in this direction.
Zelenskyy stated that the Ukrainian army "step-by-step de-occupies our land" in the northern Kharkiv area from Russian invaders.
Zelenskyy stated that it was important that there be a security corridor so that the fleet from this or that country can ensure the shipment of grain. "If we now have 22-25 millions tons of grain blocked there, we may have 75 (millions) in the fall."
"What are you going to do?" He asked. "That's why the ports are so important."
His government had previously accused Russia of stealing tons from Ukraine's territory.
During the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Turkey, Wednesday will see the issue of blocked grains on the agenda. Ankara participates in the United Nations' efforts to find an agreement for shipping Ukrainian grains out amid an increasing global food crisis.
Zelensky stated that Kyiv was not invited to the talks. This could be because Turkey wants security guarantees from Russia for its ships.
He said that Ukraine cannot export large quantities of grain via rails due to long delivery times. This is despite the fact that Kyiv has been in discussions with Poland and other Baltic countries. He also stated that exporting grain via the Belarusian neighbor is not an option.
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