Zelensky Demands More Weapons From West

Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned his allies on Saturday that an “artificial deficit” of weapons for Ukraine was giving Russia breathing space.

The Ukrainian president was speaking at the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of security and foreign policy officials.

He warned that Putin would make the next few years “catastrophic” for many more countries if the Western world did not stand up to him.

His comments came hours after his military chief said he was withdrawing troops from the eastern city of Avdiivka.

Breitbart reports: Ukraine is back on the defensive against Russia in the nearly 2-year-old war, hindered by low ammunition supplies and a shortage of personnel.

“Ukrainians have proven that we can force Russia to retreat,” he said. “We can get our land back, and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin can lose, and this has already happened more than once on the battlefield.”

“Our actions are limited only by … our strength,” he added, pointing to the situation in Avdiivka. Ukrainian commander Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi said early Saturday that he was withdrawing troops from the city, where outnumbered defenders battled a Russian assault for four months, to avoid encirclement and save soldiers’ lives.

“Dear friends, unfortunately keeping Ukraine in the artificial deficit of weapons, particularly in deficit of artillery and long-range capabilities, allows Putin to adapt to the current intensity of the war,” Zelenskyy said. “The self-weakening of democracy over time undermines our joint results.”

The president said that the troop withdrawal was “a correct decision” and emphasized the priority of saving Ukrainian soldiers’ lives. He suggested that Russia has achieved little, adding that it has been attacking Avdiivka “with all the power that they had” since October and lost thousands of soldiers – “that’s what Russia has achieved. It’s a depletion of their army.”

“We’re just waiting for weapons that we’re short of,” he added, pointing to a lack of long-range weapons. “That’s why our weapon today is our soldiers, our people.”

Zelenskyy on Friday went to Berlin and Paris, where he signed long-term bilateral security agreements with Germany and France, following a similar agreement with Britain last month.

Ukraine’s European allies are appealing to the U.S. Congress to approve a package that includes aid for Ukraine, $60 billion that would go largely to U.S. defense entities to manufacture missiles, munitions and other military hardware for the battlefields in Ukraine. The package faces resistance from House Republicans.

Zelenskyy said Saturday that the U.S. “did a lot for us” and thanked Washington for bipartisan support. He said he planned to meet U.S. senators in Munich on Saturday. They “have to understand (that) only in unity we can win (against) Russia,” he said.

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