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June 3, 2023 Russia-Ukraine information

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a press conference in Moldova on June 1.
Volodymyr Zelensky speaks throughout a press convention in Moldova on June 1. Carl Courtroom/PA Pictures/Getty Pictures

Ukraine is able to launch its much-anticipated counteroffensive within the battle in opposition to Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned in an unique video interview with The Wall Road Journal printed Saturday. 

“I feel that, as of at present, we’re able to do it. We want to have sure issues, however we will not look forward to it for months,” Zelensky mentioned of the long-awaited navy maneuvers.

The president mentioned he believes the counteroffensive might be profitable, however he is unsure how lengthy it would take. 

“Everybody is aware of completely nicely that any counteroffensive on the earth with out management within the skies may be very harmful. Think about what a navy man feels, understanding he doesn’t have a ‘roof’ and he cannot perceive how neighboring nations have that,” Zelensky mentioned about his dogged marketing campaign for allies to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. 

Based on the WSJ, Zelensky acknowledged Russia’s superiority within the skies, including {that a} lack of safety in opposition to Russian air energy means “numerous troopers will die” throughout the counteroffensive. 

“If everyone is aware of we want the safety for our skies, then what is the difficulty with (giving us) the trendy jets? What’s the difficulty?” he implored. 

On NATO: Zelensky additionally advised the newspaper he understood Ukraine wouldn’t be capable to be a part of NATO whereas its battle in opposition to Russia is ongoing, saying, “We don’t need to be in NATO throughout the battle. It’s too late now. We must always have been there earlier than.”

All NATO allies agree that “Ukraine will turn into a member of the alliance,” NATO Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg mentioned Thursday forward of the alliance’s subsequent summit, which is ready to happen in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11 and 12. 

Zelensky, who hopes to safe a pledge on the summit that Ukraine can be a part of NATO after the battle, advised the WSJ, “If some nations don’t see us in NATO and we don’t get a sign in Vilnius, I feel there isn’t a level for Ukraine to be at this summit.”

Requested if he thought that sign could be given, Zelensky replied, “I don’t know. I’ll be trustworthy with you, I don’t know.”  

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