Ukraine wants to defeat Russia’s invasion in this year, but unless the West provides enough weapons or Vladimir Putin relents, this war will continue.
One year after a massive invasion with the intent of overthrowing the government and imposing a pro Russia rule, President Volodymyr Zilenskyy stood firm on Friday.
This was a day of commemoration and not celebration. The nation observed a minute of silence to remember the thousands of Ukrainian servicemen who died to preserve Ukraine’s freedom.
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They also know there is still much more to come in the way of hard fighting.
At a ceremony held in Kyiv, the Ukrainian leader presented medals to all soldiers, including those who have died.
He told troops and their families that they could withstand any threats such as shelling, cluster bombs or cruise missiles, kamikaze robots, blackouts, cold, and even nuclear warheads.
“And we will try everything to win this year.”
Mr Zelenskyy is aware that he must be strong.
His country survived the shock of the largest invasion in Europe since WWII on the 24th February 2022.
However, his people are exhausted and the threat is not over. There are still battles in the east.
The Ukrainian military is determined to fight.
Despite repeated setbacks and defeats, Vladimir Putin, the Russian President is not giving up.
According to Western officials, his forces hold approximately one fifth of Ukraine’s territory. There are up to 300,000.
This means that the fights in this year’s elections are only going to get worse.
Both sides don’t seem to be capable of winning a decisive victory. However, neither side is willing to compromise.
Sky News asked Mr Zelenskyy if Ukraine could win on the field or if he would have to think about a negotiation with Mr Putin. He replied: “Despite everyone seeing how they kill and torture, they don’t even try to hide their attacks…They (Russians) don’t care.”
“And looking at the world in this way, do we think that Ukrainians can sit down and negotiate with all this?”
He said, “First, please respect our right of living on our land. Please leave our territory.
Stop shelling us, stop shooting at civilians, stop destroying our energy sector, infrastructure, and drinking water, and stop airstrikes against cities and villages. Also, stop killing pets, dogs, or any other animals.
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“So, you can stop doing all that. Only then, we’ll let you know what format will be used diplomatically to put an end to it.”
The Kremlin, however, believes that the numbers – both time and sheer manpower – are in its favor.
Most likely, the Russian president calculated that his Western foes lack strategic patience to commit themselves to a war that will last longer than most elections.
He is defending European nations that choose to accept a peace dividend following the end of the Cold War, and invest significantly in their armed force.
Moscow’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has energized Western allies in a way that is unlike anything since the Cold War.
France and Germany, which for years have not met the NATO minimum requirement to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense, are now digging into their pockets and promising to rebuild their militaries while also providing an increasing number of lethal arms to Ukraine.
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A belated realization has occurred that the world order, which arose from the ashes and the Second World War and was a boon for democracies but not for authoritarian regimes is now in peril.
However, the big question is whether this will suffice to allow Ukraine to regain all its land or if some sort of messy accommodation might be required.