There will be no Ukrainian invasion or even incursion into Russia. That point has been stressed repeatedly by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has stated that any Western-supplied long-range weapons shouldn’t be seen as a threat to Russian territory. Such weapons would only be used to repel Russia from Ukraine, Zelensky stressed.
“We are not planning to attack Russia,” President Zelensky said in an interview with Newsmax that aired on Tuesday. “We are not fighting on their territory. We have the war on our territory.”
The Ukrainian leader added his nation would still remain as part of a “defensive perimeter” for the world against Russia and Vladimir Putin. As a result, it could not “concede” any land, even in the eastern part of the country where a war has been raging with separatists for nearly a decade.
“We’re not ready to concede any of our territories, because our territories are our territories: It’s our independence, our sovereignty; that’s the issue,” Zelenskyy told Newmax’s Rob Schmitt in an exclusive interview in the capital city of Kyiv.
The Kremlin has claimed that Ukrainian forces have attacked border areas inside Russia, but Ukraine has denied having any role in such incidents. While Zelensky has stated that Ukraine won’t invade Russia, in April, he told CNN that Ukraine would not give up territory in the east to end the war.
Threat of Growing Conflict
There remains concern among officials in the United States, as well as in some European countries, that providing Kyiv with any powerful, long-range weapons could enable Ukraine to strike positions deep inside Russian territory and lead to an escalation of the war.
Moscow has warned that Washington’s supply of increasingly sophisticated systems could heighten the prospect of direct conflict between Russia and the United States. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov even suggested that U.S. and NATO weapons shipments to Ukraine only “add fuel to the fire,” and that, “The United States is obviously adhering to the line of fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian.”
More Defensive Systems on the Way
Most of the weapons supplied to Ukraine have been seen as defensive in nature, and on Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Berlin would send its most modern air defense system to help Ukraine defend against Russian airstrikes.
It is just the latest in military hardware that continues to flow to Ukraine, and it comes as the conflict in the eastern Donbas region continues to intensify. While Russian forces had failed to take Kyiv in the west, in recent days, Russian forces have managed to make progress in the Luhansk province and they now control 70 percent of Sievierodonetsk, which was the last major city in the province that was not already under Russian control.
Even as Ukraine has been successful in driving the Russians back in other parts of the country, Zelensky admitted that the Ukrainians continue to pay a heavy toll defending the Donbas area.
“The situation in the east is very difficult,” Mr. Zelensky said in the interview with Newsmax. “We are losing 60 to 100 soldiers every day and something like 500 wounded in combat.”
Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.