Days after Germany and the United States were at the top of a list of nations pledged to provide tanks, Zelensky made his most recent demands for more expanded military shipments.
Zelensky pleaded that Ukraine urgently needed more weapons. Nato has warned that Russia is gathering at least 200,000 more soldiers for a big military assault on Ukraine.
On Saturday, Zelensky claimed that Ukraine needed the 300-kilometer-range ATACMS missile developed in the United States, which Washington has so far refused to provide.
Zelensky said “our pressure is greater than the occupiers’ capacity to attack” and that meant “maintaining the defense support from our partners.”
He continued “The enemy takes no account of its personnel and despite the extent of the losses is maintaining the intensity of its attacks,” he continued. “Confronting this requires extraordinary resilience and a full awareness by our soldiers that in defending Donetsk region they are defending all of Ukraine.”
His plea came after news of Putin’s plan of a reinforced invasion, with 200,000 new soldiers to take over Ukraine. Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg bitterly stated “no sign” that Putin is “preparing for peace.”
Putin warned that Russia is preparing for “more war” ahead of the conflict’s first anniversary at the end of February. It comes amid intelligence reports that Putin may be readying for a massive new offensive could launch a new blitzkrieg-style onslaught in attempt to win the war by taking Kyiv. Ukraine fears the assault could coincide with February 24–the first anniversary of his invasion.
Stoltenberg said “We don’t see any signs that President Putin and rules in Moscow are preparing for peace.” He goes on.
“We see the opposite. We see that they are preparing for more war, that they are mobilizing more soldiers, more than 200,000, and potentially even more than that. That they are actively acquiring new weapons, more ammunition, ramping up their own production, but also acquiring more weapons from other authoritarian states like Iran and North Korea.”
Stoltenberg claimed the only way to make Putin return to negotiations instead of war was to keep giving Ukraine arms. “And most of all, we have seen no sign that President Putin has changed his overall goal of this invasion that is to control a neighbor, to control Ukraine. So as long as this is the case, we need to be prepared for long haul.”
“What we do know it that what happens around that table is inextricably linked to and totally dependent on the situation on the battlefield,” Stoltenberg said. “So if we really want Ukraine to prevail as a sovereign, independent nation in Europe, then we need to support them now. Military support today makes it possible to reach a peace agreement tomorrow.”
Ukraine warned that Putin will be gearing up for renewed attack in 2023.
They continue to request weapons, despite receiving the following tanks from the UK, Germany, and the U.S.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council, claimed that Russia is “preparing for maximum activation, and they believe that by the anniversary they should have some achievements. There is no secret that they are preparing for a new wave by February 24, as they themselves say.”
11 months have passed since the invasion of Ukraine, where Russian troops crossed the border and advanced towards Kyiv. However, as many know, it did not turn out to be the swift operation envisioned by Putin and his forces. As a result, over 126,000 Russians have lost their lives in the war-torn fields of Ukraine. The Russian army’s hopes for a quick win were crushed, but despite significant casualties, it remains a formidable force with a strength of over one million soldiers and the ability to mobilize another two million reserves.
Defense chief Sergei Shoigu has revealed plans to increase active personnel to 1.5 million starting in 2023. Putin’s fate is now linked to the outcome of the war, amidst rumors of his declining health and concerns of a potential coup.
Ukraine has repeatedly warned of a potential Russian attack, with President Zelensky appealing to the West for increased weapons support. The Kremlin has been outraged by the flow of arms into Ukraine from the West. Russia continues to intimidate Ukraine and it has been disclosed that Putin even threatened to kill Boris Johnson during a phone call prior to the invasion.