Zelenskyy: There is no stalemate, and there will be no talks or concessions

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy does not think the situation on the front in Ukraine is a stalemate and has said that Ukraine will not negotiate with Russia.

Source: President Zelenskyy during a press conference with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, as reported by Interfax-Ukraine

Details: A recent article in The Economist quoted Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine General Valerii Zaluzhnyi as saying that the situation on the front is at a stalemate. Zelenskyy responded to this by saying there was no stalemate.

Quote from Zelenskyy: "This is not a stalemate. Russia controls the sky. We are protecting our troops. No one [in Ukraine] wants to just throw our people [into the battle] like Russia does [...]

How can we overcome it? With the F-16s, we have to wait for our guys to get trained and for them to come back. When there’s air defence on the front, our soldiers advance, and they deploy the equipment they have."

Details: Zelenskyy added that last year everyone similarly thought Ukraine had entered a stalemate.

"Several military tricks – and the Kharkiv region was liberated, if you recall," he said.

"We have no right to give up. What’s the alternative? Surrendering a third of our country? That would just be the beginning. We know what a ‘frozen’ conflict really is; we’ve made our conclusions," Zelenskyy stressed.

"We need to work with our allies to secure more air defence equipment, to put an end to [Russia’s control] in the skies, and to give our soldiers an opportunity to conduct offensive operations," he added.

Zelenskyy also denied that Ukraine’s partners were putting pressure on him to negotiate with Russia.

Quote from Zelenskyy: "Everyone knows my position, which is the same as the position of the Ukrainian people. No one is putting pressure on me now. That was happening before the war and early on in the war. Now no EU or US leaders are putting pressure [on me] [...]

For us to sit down with Russia and talk to it, to make concessions to it – that will not happen."

Background:

  • Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, said in an interview with The Economist this week that the situation at the front has reached a stalemate when neither side can advance because they are technologically equipped at the same level. The general says the situation reminds him of the First World War.

  • John Kirby, White House National Security Council Coordinator, described General Valerii Zaluzhnyi's article in The Economist as one of the important arguments that confirms the urgent need for further support for Ukraine. According to Politico, Zaluzhnyi's statements have stirred up "partisan passions" in the US Congress.

  • The Kremlin has also commented on Zaluzhnyi's article. It claimed that the situation had not reached a stalemate and that Russia was "consistently continuing" its war against Ukraine.

  • Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Office of the President, commenting on an article by Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, for The Economist, said that the military should not talk publicly about what is happening at the front.

  • NBC News reported that officials from the US and the EU had started discussing with Ukraine the possibility of holding peace talks with Russia.

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