Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has claimed that Russia wants “revenge” and is preparing for a major offensive in late February or early spring. Speaking after a meeting with visiting EU officials on Friday, Zelensky said Kiev was already preparing for the blow.
“We think there will be increased pressure in the east,” said the Ukrainian leader. “Russia wants revenge in the exact place where it previously failed. It wants to take the east,” he added, referring to areas east of Kharkov where Ukrainian troops advanced in the fall.
“Our mission is to prevent that and hold them off until our army is equipped with adequate weapons. I think we have every chance of that,” Zelensky asserted. The US and its allies have promised main battle tanks to Kiev, such as the American M1 Abrams, the British Challenger, and the German Leopard 2, but said that delivering them would take weeks or months.
Ukrainians need to remember the “motivation and spirit” from the start of the conflict, Zelensky added, noting that some parts of the country feel like they’re “on vacation” instead of at war.