Zelensky speaks of an “extremely difficult” situation at the front

KIEV (dpa-AFX) – After a visit to the front, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj characterized the situation there as “extremely difficult”. There are problems on sections of the front where the Russians have concentrated the largest reserves, Zelensky said in his daily video address on Monday. “They are taking advantage of delays in aid to Ukraine.”

Zelensky complained about the lack of artillery shells, anti-aircraft systems near the front and long-range missiles. Kiev is working hard to resume aid from its Western partners, the Ukrainian head of state assured his compatriots. Ukrainian forces only had to withdraw from the city of Avdiivka at the weekend.

Zelensky had previously visited the Kupiansk sector of the front in the Kharkiv region. The Russians, who were driven out of the city in autumn 2022, have been advancing on the small town with the railway junction, which is considered strategically important, for weeks, also because the Ukrainians have too little ammunition. In his speech, the President thanked the Ukrainian companies that were driving forward arms production in their own country. However, the country is currently not yet able to provide itself with weapons and ammunition and is still dependent on aid, he said.

In his speech, Zelensky also addressed the protests of Polish farmers against Ukrainian agricultural exports. The blockade of border crossings by Poles was a devastating signal of the “erosion of solidarity,” he said. Since only five percent of Ukrainian agricultural exports cross the Polish border, the problem is not with grain, but with politics. Joint decisions aimed at the common good are necessary to resolve the situation, he said./bal/DP/he