Zelenskyy confident of Ukraine’s victory, says country is readying for counterattack

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed confidence in his country’s ability to repel the Russian invasion, telling Al Arabiya that Ukraine is preparing for a counterattack.

Zelenskyy was speaking in an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya that was aired on Sunday and touched on an array of topics as his country battles through the second year of conflict against Russia.

When asked about the situation on the ground in Ukraine, Zelenskyy acknowledged that it is challenging but emphasized that his country is fighting and getting stronger. “I cannot describe the situation as good, but we are fighting,” he said. “We are stronger than we were a year ago.”

Zelenskyy also underscored that Ukrainians are united for victory. “We hope and we believe that through daily [gains] we are close to victory,” Zelenskyy said, adding that Ukrainians are committed to regaining their occupied lands and developing their country.

Zelenskyy said that the Ukrainian army is preparing for a counterattack against Russian forces, while playing down the impact of US leaked documents on this counter offensive. While he did not provide specifics about the attack, he expressed confidence in its success. “Our army is getting ready, and we are doing everything we can in order to make it stronger,” he said.

Zelenskyy also spoke about the situation in the city of Bakhmut, where a fierce battle has been taking place against the Russian Wagner group.

Despite some analysts saying the city has little strategic value, Zelenskyy stood his ground that Ukraine will not give up on the eastern Ukrainian city. He called on those to “visit [the city] so that they can understand what could happen and what the threats are.”

“It is impossible for us to give up on Bakhmut because this will [help] expand the battle front and will give the Russian forces and Wagner chances to seize more of our lands.”

If Russia captures Bakhmut that could act as a stepping-stone to advance on two bigger cities it has long coveted in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine: Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

Zelenskyy thanked allies for their support but noted that they are also supporting themselves by aiding Ukraine.

“The truth is, Russia won’t stop at Ukraine and this is something clear to everyone,” he said adding that Ukraine, however, can stop Russia.

“So, to our allies, support us because first and foremost this is a cheap price that you have to pay because Russia will go beyond that,” he said, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin is fighting for his life in Ukraine and not for his country.

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