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Zelenskiy Says 31,000 Troops Killed as Ukraine Seeks US Aid Decision Within Month

Zelenskiy Says 31,000 Troops Killed as Ukraine Seeks US Aid Decision Within Month

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country has lost 31,000 soldiers since Russia’s full-scale invasion started two years ago as he stressed that a decision from the US Congress on $60 billion in aid was needed within a month.

Zelenskiy said Ukraine has a “clear plan” for 2024, while making a blockbuster claim that parts of its 2023 battle strategy had been leaked to Russia.

With the war now in its third year, Russia has gained fresh momentum, exploiting Kyiv’s deficit of ammunition and shortage of troops. US support, a crucial lifeline, faces formidable obstacles in the Republican-led House of Representatives, even after a joint $95 billion package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan cleared the Senate.

“When we talk about US assistance, we should understand that it’s not financial support, mainly it’s weapons,” Zelenskiy told reporters in Kyiv on Sunday during an extended press conference.

“The Patriot air-defense system costs $1.5 billion, but you can’t buy it without the US and there are no similar systems in the world. We can find money, but we won’t find such an amount of weapons.”

Read more: White House Urges House Speaker to Free Up Path for Ukraine Aid

As military supplies to Ukraine are dwindling, Russian forces scored a symbolic victory this month when Ukraine pulled soldiers out of the embattled eastern city of Avdiivka after months of combat. Kremlin troops are probing Ukrainian defenses elsewhere along the 1,200-kilometer (746-mile) frontline.

The Ukrainian president said that 2024 will determine how the war will end, and called US elections in November a potential tipping point.

“It will be difficult for us in the coming months because there are fluctuations in the US that have an impact on some countries, though the European Union showed it is capable of being a leader with its support,” Zelenskiy said.

Ukraine expects Russia to “prepare counteroffensive actions at the end of May or the beginning of summer,” Zelenskiy said, vowing that his forces would be ready to fight. “The tipping point will be elections in the US, and then we will understand what will happen afterward,” he added.

Read more: Ukraine Enters Third Year of War as Stalled Aid Dims Outlook

Zelenskiy said Ukraine needs two or three types of weapons to stop Russia’s offensive and break its defensive lines.

“If Ukraine gets 10 Patriot systems for key industrial centers, if we can use them closer to the battlefield, they won’t be able to advance, we would crush their defensive lines,” he said. “It would radically change the situation.”

The Ukrainian leader said that his government doesn’t have precise data on how may civilians have lost their lives in the past two years because some areas are occupied, though the figure is “tens of thousands killed and murdered.”

While Zelenskiy disclosed the first official figure for military losses in many months, he declined to also pinpoint the number of wounded, saying that would help the Russian military.

The Ukrainian president claimed that some plans for Kyiv’s 2023 counteroffensive in the country’s southeast had been leaked to Russia.

“I will be open with you: our counteroffensive actions in the fall of last year were on the Kremlin’s table before those counteroffensive actions started,” Zelenskiy said, without saying who he thought was behind the leak.

Other highlights of Zelenskiy’s remarks:

  • He’s discussing reducing the number of government ministries with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal as a cost-saving measure.
  • He hopes the first leader-level global conference to discuss Ukraine’s peace blueprint will be held to “prepare a document for the whole world, which may lead to the end of the war with a fair peace for Ukraine.”
  • He’s positive on the potential for long-range weapons supplies.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can help Ukraine open its Black Sea port of Mykolayiv and restore civilian navigation in the Black Sea. Ukraine seeks to continue using the export corridor protected by its military and to expand it, possibly with Turkey’s assistance.
  • North Korea has transfered to Russia 1.5 million artillery shells and an unknown number of missiles, and will probably continue to provide weapons.
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  • craig white says:

    I don’t know you are towing this “western media “ line … no editorial comment whatsoever against the lies by Zelensky and his Regime who has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people …. If you remember correctly , more than 18 months ago Biden himself ( who is running the slaughter of Ukrainians ) said that “100 000 Ukrainian soldiers had died “ …. Now almost 2 years later you print this “31 000 dead “ blatant lie … if you just watched and read some alternate news for once instead of CNN , you would quickly learn that Ukraine could never win this “war “ , and all the Us was doing was attempting to a aggravate Russia all along ….. I mean you don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a sooth – sayer to understand what is happening just listen to their own Senators and governors … Lindsay Graham himself said “best money we ever spent , and Russians are dying “ …. And your Democrat presidential hopeful , Gavin Newsom said quote “it’s a great for around 5% per annum of our military budget , and no Americans are Dying “ … no talk of the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians dead and wounded … not a peep ….and the “coup cookie woman herself “ Victoria Nuland casually saying that people just remember that the “$60 billion being sought , the vast majority will remain in the US to stimulate the economy “ …. If you take just 5 minutes out of your American ( genocide enablers love story …. It’s easy to find the real facts if you would bother to do so

    • Maurice M says:

      Very good comment. The way in which the mainstream press has been manipulated is extremely wrong. The saddest part is in the fact that after the war, Ukraine will no longer be independent. If they win the war (as the mainstream press claims), they will in great debt burden towards the US and its banks. Ukraine will automatically be a property of the US. If they lose, they will be the property of Russia. There is no clear way out after the war for them and that’s very sad.

  • Agf Agf says:

    31 000? You must be joking. Conservative estimates are well over 150 000 Ukrainian soldiers have died. Oh wait a minute, you also believe Hamas’ claims of the Palestinian death rates. Now it makes sense.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Hang on Craig. Whether it is 31 000 or 150 000+, who started this unnecessary, brutal and unjustified war and who is the bad guy here? There is only 1 – the deranged Putin – the evil mass-murdering monster and there is precedent, not just Ukraine. Chechnya and Syria alone account for hundreds of thousand murdered and massacred by the bestial Putin, who wants to restore the hideous and revolting Soviet/Russian empire. Stalin murdered millions of Ukrainians under the deliberate great famine and great terror. What do you expect Ukraine to do – simply allow Putin to roll over them and be subjugated forever? They are not Russian and were a free nation, guaranteed by world powers including Putin/Russia!! Putin had to invent the absolute bullshit of a “special military operation to get rid of Nazis” when it is nothing but a full scale vicious war of conquest and teaching the insolent Ukrainians who their master is. His bellicosity and war-mongering are responsible for nations wanting security in numbers. His biggest fear is that a prosperous, free and democratic nation on his doorstep might infect the highly-abused and long-suffering population, and end his wholesale theft/rape of a country. I think that those who live in freedom forget or at best, have no appreciation of what it is like to be under the boot of a bestial dictator. If Putin is not stopped, he will carry on with his pathetic dreams of empire – the Baltic States, Moldova, Poland are very much in his sights.

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