Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that he believes Russia has already begun the anticipated offensive in the east, but also noted it’s a “complicated” situation.
“The situation on the frontline is complicated,” he said in a sit-down interview with Fox News’ Trey Yingst. “Russia is preparing for the rematch. We can feel this.”
“I believe that it has already started or not fully. We will see that in the nearest weeks,” Zelenskyy added.
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Defense officials have been sounding the alarm that Russia is planning a major offensive in an attempt to turn the tide in the war in Ukraine after failing to make any major advances in months and losing territory beginning in September with the liberation of Kharkiv.
Details on the offensive remain unclear and fighting in the Donbas and in Kherson has remained relatively consistent for weeks, with no major escalations or advancements from either side.
But even as the war nears the one-year mark, Zelenskyy said that morale remains high among soldiers and citizens alike.
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“For over a year we have this war and people are exhausted. But still there is this resilience of our soldiers,” he told Fox News. “It’s important to have the resilience. Among the people, there’s this high level of morale.”
Western defense officials have been working to funnel defensive aid into Ukraine, and hundreds of tanks that Kyiv has long called for have been promised by several nations, including the U.S.
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However, top defensive aids like tanks and the Patriot missile battery systems are expected to take months before they can be employed on Ukraine’s front lines — well beyond the point when Russia is expected to once again hit Ukraine with renewed vigor.
But Zelenskyy says his troops are ready and Ukraine has a plan to counter Russia’s offensive, though details on a defensive strategy remain limited.