War in Ukraine: Zelenskyy on counter-offensive: Will not stand still

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to continue the military offensive against Russian troops.

War in Ukraine: Zelenskyy on counter-offensive: Will not stand still

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to continue the military offensive against Russian troops. "Our goal is to recapture our entire territory. Recapture is the main goal," Zelenskyy told US news channel CNN in an interview broadcast on Sunday (local time). Ukraine cannot allow Russia to continue the same occupation it started in 2014.

First, the Russians made conditions, Zelenskyj explained. Either you accept it or the Russians continue their invasion. "That's their strategy." Selenskyj called the procedure "Russian cannibalism": "They will eat you up, bit by bit, piece by piece." He didn't want to get involved any further. "I don't want to play this game. I don't like it," said Zelenskyj. You will not stand still. With the counter-offensive you will "slowly and gradually move forward."

Zelenskyy: No negotiations with Russia at the moment

When asked if he wanted to enter into negotiations with Russia, the president replied: "Not at the moment. I don't see any willingness on their part to be constructive." However, after a withdrawal of Russian troops, the conversation could begin.

According to information from Kyiv, the advance of the Ukrainian army in the east of the country is continuing. "The liberation of towns under Russian occupation in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions continues," the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Monday.

A total of more than 20 towns have been recaptured within the last 24 hours. The Russian troops have now also left Welykyj Burluk and Dvorichna. Both places are in the north of the Kharkiv region.

Under pressure from Ukrainian counter-offensives, Russia's defense ministry announced the withdrawal of its own troops from the Kharkiv region over the weekend, more than six months after the start of the war. The withdrawal was officially justified with a strategic "regrouping" of the units.

Kremlin confirms continuation of war against Ukraine

Despite recent failures, Russia wants to continue its war. "The special military operation will continue," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, according to the Interfax news agency. "It will continue until the goals set initially are achieved," he added. Peskov was only evasive when asked by journalists whether Russia's military leadership still enjoyed the trust of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin.

When asked how Putin reacted to the news that his own troops were withdrawing from the Kharkiv region, Peskov simply said that Russia's president would be kept informed of all military developments. Moscow's war goals include the complete conquest of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

LONDON: Russians in Ukraine need to focus on defence

According to British experts, the Russian troops in Ukraine must now concentrate largely on defending against the Ukrainian counter-offensive. This emerges from the daily intelligence update from the Ministry of Defense in London on Monday. The quick successes of the Ukrainian defenders would have "considerable consequences" for the general operational planning of the Russians. "The already limited trust that the deployed troops have in the Russian military leadership is likely to continue to wane," the statement said on Twitter.

After the Russian withdrawal from the entire Kharkiv region west of the Oskil River, only a few "nests of resistance" were left there, according to the British assessment. "As of Wednesday, Ukraine has reclaimed an area at least twice the size of Greater London."

In the south, near Cherson, Russia is having trouble getting enough supplies across the Dnipro River to the front. An improvised floating bridge, construction of which began two weeks ago, is still unfinished. "Ukrainian long-range artillery is now likely to hit Dnipro crossings so frequently that Russia cannot repair the road bridges," the statement continued.

Zelenskyi announces capture of Izyum

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj had already announced in the evening that he would take the strategically important city of Izyum, which had previously been contested. Videos of Ukrainian soldiers hoisting the country's flag emerged from the small town 140 kilometers southeast of Kharkiv.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russian troops have also left the small town of Svatove in the Luhansk region. According to the situation report, only the separatist militias are still deployed there. This information cannot be verified independently.

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