Russian President Vladimir Putin is counting on a “collapse” of Western support for Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky told G7 leaders today, saying the Russian military had “significantly increased pressure” on the front.
“Russia hopes for only one thing: that the unity of the free world will collapse next year. Russia believes that America and Europe will show weakness and will not maintain their support for Ukraine at the appropriate level,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a teleconference between G7 leaders.
While admitting that Russian forces have gone on the offensive on the front, Zelensky assured that Ukrainian soldiers are “resisting the attacks”.
“We maintain significant bridgeheads in several directions of the front line and are preparing for the next stages,” he said.
After the failure of the Ukrainian army’s major counteroffensive over the summer, which failed to break Russian defenses, troops from Moscow have regained momentum, notably in Adviyka, an industrial city in eastern Ukraine that they are trying to encircle.
Western military and economic aid to Ukraine, crucial to Kiev’s war effort, is increasingly being called into question, the subject of political conflict in both the United States and Europe.
“The free world has a vital need to maintain its unity,” Zelensky told the G7, stressing that his country must “win this battle” both at home and abroad.
He also said he hoped the European Union would “keep its promise to Ukraine”, whose desire to join the EU is expected to be discussed at a summit in mid-December.
Zelensky yesterday afternoon abruptly canceled his planned intervention before the US Congress, where negotiations are tense over the continuation of aid to Ukraine.