UKRAINIAN President Volodymyr Zelensky has revealed plans to mobilise 500,000 more conscripts to join the fight against Russia.
At a rare end-of-year address, the defiant leader vowed that it has been a “difficult year” but that Ukraine will fight till the end.
AFPZelensky promised Ukraine will not give up in its fight against Putin[/caption]
AFPHe said he was considering mobilising 500,000 more troops[/caption]
The Ukrainian president is currently holding an unexpected press conference to discuss the state of the war and his military’s plans for the new year.
However he told Ukrainians never to lose “our resilience”, adding: “We are fighting for a future to be chosen by ourselves not the Russian Federation.”
In order to do this, the embattled leader said the Ukrainian army has asked for an extra 450-500,000 men to be drafted.
“This is a sensitive issue,” he said, before adding that he “needed more arguments to support this idea.”
When asked if there was any possibility of “defeat”, Zelensky confidently responded: “No.”
He said: “We are not ready to give up, to let go, from day one to the last day this will be the same… and together we can bring this victory closer.”
He faced questions over waning Western support, fatigue in Kyiv and how many years longer Ukraine can fight on.
“I think that no one knows the answer. Even respected people, our commanders and our Western partners, who say that this is a war for many years, they do not know,” Zelensky said.
Cash-strapped Kyiv is set to face a difficult second winter at war ahead with issues that Zelensky believes centre around securing military aid and artillery shells and other weapons.
Dressed in his usual military fatigues and black jumper, the president said that Ukraine has won a “big victory” on the Black Sea.
“The Russian fleet is no longer dominating in the Black Sea… it is no longer able to influence us and what we export and cannot block our economy.
“We are forcing it to leave our territorial waters and the occupied peninsula [Crimea].”
Zelensky repeatedly listed the billions of dollars of aid that is expected to soon come Ukraine’s way from Europe and the US.
“Our allies respect us and our proud of us,” he said. We won’t be betrayed by our partners.”
Zelensky was forced to consider that a possible Trump presidency could have a “strong impact” on the course of the war.
He also announced that Ukraine will receive more Patriot air defence systems to bolster its forces and civilians in the face of increasing aerial attacks from Moscow.
“I promised I wouldn’t disclose the number … ,” Zelensky said, but noted that the promised weapons were a “very important result” of meetings with allies during recent trips abroad.
Ukraine is currently facing a Russian onslaught on six fronts in suicidal “meat assaults” and Russia is haemorrhaging 1,000 soldiers a day.
Zelensky previously voiced his dissatisfaction with the Ukrainian counteroffensive, stating: “We did not achieve desired results. And that is a fact.”
Ukraine has admitted it has taken less than 100 square miles of land back, while Russia has suffered catastrophic losses in a continued costly eastern offensive.
In scenes likened to the savage battles of World War One, thousands of soldiers from either side are dying over just miles of land in a frozen stalemate.
Zelensky’s media conference came only days after Putin hosted his first TV call-in show since the war began.
During the closely-regulated “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin“, a major gaffe saw the tyrant humiliated as critical messages appeared on screens telling him to quit.
The spectacular blunder allowed texts saying “don’t run for another term as president” and “make way for the young” to flash up on screen.
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