Ukraine demands more weapons after latest Russian attack and drone strikes in Crimea

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for more weapons to punish Russia after recent bombings of civilian targets, followed by a drone strike on the Crimean peninsula that destroyed several fuel tankers for Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

“This shows that you can stop terror and save people only with weapons, anti-aircraft batteries and modern aviation (…), artillery and armored vehicles,” Zelensky said in his traditional message to the nation.

Every time a Russian offensive leads to a tragedy like the one in the Cherkasy region that killed 23 people, Zelensky appeals to the conscience of Western leaders, arguing that heavy weapons will not only help defeat Russia, but save lives.

Counterattack, more guns and less rain

Speaking to Scandinavian media, Zelensky admitted that Kiev is preparing a counterattack.

“I think it will be successful. We can leave our territory. Counterattack is very important. We need to win. I believe in our soldiers,” he said.

Without specifying the dates – various sources talk about mid-May – he emphasized that the said counter-offensive will include the liberation of Crimea, because, according to him, from February 2022 “Russia will be greatly weakened”.

Although he claimed that his success directly depends on the supply of weapons from the West.

“We want to save as many lives as possible, so the number of guns matters. (…) There will be no hesitation here. We will do that. “The risk is that we don’t have enough armored vehicles, for example, since we know there will be more casualties,” he said.

He admitted that Kiev wants to wait for everything promised, but deadlines are not always met.

“And neither is the weather,” he said, clearly pointing out that the rains have not abated and the ground is still wet, making it difficult for military vehicles to advance.

Russia is on the defensive

Of course, he denied that this operation is taking place at the expense of the US and other countries that agreed to supply F-16 fighter jets to Kiev.

“We will not wait. We will start even earlier (…) Convince Russia that we still need a few months to learn to fly an airplane. We won’t do that. We will start and move forward,” he said, admitting the contest could last “years or decades.”

Kiev and Western intelligence say the latest attacks show Moscow has changed course. The targets are now military, not energy infrastructure.

“This is another stage of the competition (…) they are setting up defense lines. It will be difficult for us,” he emphasized, adding that the goal of the Ukrainian army is to “take the initiative in this war.”

He categorically ruled out negotiations with the Kremlin. “To this day, you cannot talk to this person, (Russian, Vladimir) President Putin. He is a terrorist for all of us,” he said.

Drone attack in Crimea

Meanwhile, annexed Crimea woke up to an attack by enemy planes, but Kiev did not claim responsibility for the attack.

Sevastopol port authorities have admitted that one of the devices hit a fuel tank where four tankers caught fire.

According to Ukrainian military intelligence, the attack destroyed 10 tankers carrying almost 40,000 tons of fuel for the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

“This is God’s punishment, namely, for (23) civilians killed in Uman (Cherkassy), including five children,” his spokesman, Andriy Yusov, told RBC-Ukraine newspaper.

And he recommended that Crimeans stay away from military installations and infrastructure that supply the aggressor’s army.

The leader of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, assured that the anti-aircraft defense shot down two more planes this morning.

Bakhmut factor

One factor that cannot be underestimated is what is happening in Bakhmut, where Wagner’s mercenaries, flanked by the Russian Airborne Forces, are tightening the siege of that city after nine months of fighting.

Russian aviation and artillery are preventing Ukrainian forces from helping the defenders of Bakhmut by striking their positions on the outskirts of Chasiv Yar, Kalinin and Krasnoye, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Saturday.

This is in line with a report by the American Institute for the Study of War, which says Russian troops are getting dangerously close to the road between Konstantinov and the Ukrainian stronghold, the only way out.

However, the founder of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, once again sowed doubts by suggesting that Bakhmut could be withdrawn if he does not receive ammunition, for which he wrote to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

“We will be in Bakhmut until the last bullet is left, but we have little left, not for weeks, but for days (…) We will probably have to withdraw part of the company from this area.” He told popular military blogger WarGonzo.

Source: El Diario

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