Zelenskyy reacts to General Zaluzhnyi's article in the Economist, says Ukrainians can’t give up

Zelenskyy says no stalemate on front, affirms need for air defense as Ukraine prepares for F-16 aircraft
Zelenskyy says no stalemate on front, affirms need for air defense as Ukraine prepares for F-16 aircraft

The current situation at the front is not one of deadlock, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at a press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Nov. 4.

The president was commenting on recent articles published in the UK weekly news magazine the Economist by Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zeluzhnyi, news agency Interfax-Ukraine reports.

"This is not a stalemate," Zelenskyy said.

“Russia controls the sky. We are protecting our military. No one wants to just throw them away like Russia throws away its people, like meat.”

Read also: Ukraine's military leadership right to seek new approaches in war with Russia — Danilov

Ukraine is now also waiting for the F-16 and the return of Ukrainian pilots who are currently training on these aircraft, the Ukrainian leader added.

"How to overcome this?" he said.

“We have to wait for the F-16s, for the guys to get trained, for them to return. When there is air defense at the front, the military go forward and use the equipment.”

Read also: Three important messages from Zaluzhnyi in the article and interview in the Economist

Zelenskyy also recalled that last year everyone thought the war was in a stalemate. "A few military tricks, and you remember, Kharkiv Oblast was liberated," Zelenskyy said.

The president said that Ukrainians have no right to give up.

"What is the alternative?" he asked.

“That we should give up a third of our state? This will only be the beginning. We know what a frozen conflict is; we have drawn the conclusions for ourselves.”

Zelenskyy said Ukraine needs to work more with its air defense partners, unblock the skies, and enable its soldiers to conduct offensive operations.

Read also: Russian forces keep trying to encircle Avdiivka, attack civilians behind lines with drones, missiles

Earlier, the Deputy Head of the President’s Office, Ihor Zhovkva, commenting on Zaluzhnyi's article on national television, said that if he were in the military’s shoes, he would refrain from commenting to the media and the public about what is happening at the front.

He suggested that the article could have been a "deep strategy" but expressed surprise at it.

"If we succeed in this way, perhaps it is a very deep strategic plan... But, frankly, I find it very strange," he said.

Zhovkva also expressed concern that after Zaluzhnyi's words about the war entering a positional stage, Western leaders might have become concerned.

On Nov. 1, Zaluzhnyi outlined his vision of the war's further course and the risks for Ukraine in articles for the Economist.

In particular, he stated that the war has reached a deadlock and turned into a positional war instead of a rapid maneuver warfare. At the same time, the Commander-in-Chief proposed a number of steps that could help Ukraine avoid a grueling "static and attritional fighting," which is the most favorable option for Russia.

Zaluzhnyi also noted that according to preliminary estimates of the command, the Ukrainian army was supposed to advance at a speed of 30 kilometers per day, breaking through the lines of Russian defense, and four months should have sufficed to enter Crimea.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine