Ukraine’s president has announced that Ukraine is ready to launch a long-awaited counteroffensive to retake territories occupied by Russia. Volodymyr Zelensky told the Wall Street Journal that he didn’t know how long it would take and that “it could be done in many ways,” but that Ukraine was “strongly convinced” that they would succeed.
“We’re going to do it, we’re ready,” he said. The counteroffensive was delayed as wet weather made the ground unsuitable for heavily armored vehicles, but a dry spell in parts of Ukraine has sparked anticipation.
Zelensky conceded that Ukraine would not be able to join NATO until the Russian aggression was over – a rare acknowledgment by a Ukrainian president who has stepped up pressure on NATO and the EU to open their doors to Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February angered NATO, but members of the military bloc are divided over Ukraine. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said all members agreed to abide by a 2008 pledge that Ukraine would become a member at an unspecified point in time.
What did Zelensky say about Ukraine joining NATO?
“We are reasonable people and we understand that we will not drag a NATO country into a war,” Zelensky said.
“So we understand that we will not be members of NATO while this war is going on. Not because we don’t want to, but because it’s impossible,” Zelensky added.
What is happening in Ukraine?
Four civilians were killed in shelling of the Belgorod region on Russia’s border with Ukraine on Friday, a local official said. Moscow’s army continued to attack Kiev for the sixth day in a row. Over the past few days, thousands of residents have fled villages near Russia’s southwestern border amid shelling.