Ukraine will triumph, promises Zelensky as anniversary of invasion approaches | War in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine broke out on February 24, 2022.
Ukraine “didn't crack” and will triumph over Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky assured Thursday, on the eve of the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of his country. p>
On the same day, in New York, the UN General Assembly symbolically demanded the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops, calling for a just and lasting peace, while G7 finance ministers meeting in India urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide aid to Ukraine.
On the ground, fortified by the support of the West, with announcements Thursday by European countries of deliveries of heavy weapons and by the United States of considerable additional sanctions against Russia, the Ukrainians continue to oppose a fierce resistance to Russian forces.
But if they inflicted major setbacks on Vladimir Putin, who in turn had to give up taking Kiev, to abandon the north then the north-east of Ukraine and finally Kherson, the big city in the south, they are still fighting in the east, in the industrial Donbass region that Russia absolutely wants to conquer in full.
“We have not failed, we have overcome many trials and we will triumph. We will hold accountable all those who have brought this evil, this war to our land.
—Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine
In Moscow, Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, went to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the occasion of Defender of the Fatherland Day, before talking to -10 ° C with soldiers in Red Square.
The day before, he had once again claimed the occupied regions of Ukraine as historical Russian lands and accused Americans and Europeans of wanting to destroy Russia.
A warlike rhetoric echoed Thursday by his Minister of Defense: Instrumentalising Ukraine, the West seeks to dismember Russia […], an attempt doomed to failure.
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On the Ukrainian side, Moscow is suspected of preparing a new wave of bombings of Ukraine on Friday, the anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict, February 24, 2022.
Since the fall, the Russian army has been firing regular salvoes of missiles to break Ukraine's energy infrastructure in the dead of winter. But this campaign has lost effectiveness in recent months as Ukraine has been able to strengthen its anti-aircraft defenses and repair damaged sites.
We have already survived this more than twenty times, commented Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the main intelligence directorate of the Ministry of Defense.
Within a year, the Russians proceeded about 5,000 missile strikes, nearly 3,500 air strikes, 1,100 drone attacks on various facilities, or nearly 10,000 such actions in total, senior Ukrainian military official Oleksiy Gromov said Thursday.
A year ago the first Russian tanks entered Ukraine .
The Ukrainian authorities also said they had observed a movement of convoys carrying military equipment north of the Chernihiv region (north), bordering Russia and Belarus, its ally.
Though feeling the pinch from the worst year of their lives, Ukrainians remain confident that they can achieve victory.
“I am sure that victory is ahead of us, but we don't know how long we will have to wait and how many casualties there will still be.
— Diana Chestakova, 23, runs a publishing house
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez traveled to Ukraine on Thursday to show his support for him, after US President Joe Biden on Monday and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday.
He confirmed the supply of six Leopard 2 tanks and hoped to be able to send four more in the coming months. Finland has announced to send three.
Experts and observers expect the belligerents to each mount offensives in the coming weeks.
In this context, President Zelensky said on Thursday that he wanted to discuss the Chinese peace plan with Beijing, deeming the involvement of this close partner of Moscow positive, but specifying that he had not seen the document.
The United States will, for its part, put in place significant sanctions against key sectors in Russia, the White House has announced.
And the EU is preparing a 10th package of sanctions which it hopes to make public on Friday.
We clearly see that our defense right now also starts with Ukraine, because Ukraine is fighting the same threat […] So, as long as& #x27;they are fighting there, they are weakening the same enemy as ours, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said Thursday in an interview with AFP.
In addition, the head of the Italian Navy announced that the Russians had greatly increased their naval presence in the Mediterranean, a level that had not been observed even at the time of the Cold War.