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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Still Defiant

Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (official pic)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is optimistic about what will come in his nation’s struggle against a Russian invasion that has now dragged on for more than 17 months. A defiant Zelensky pledged to continue the fight in an interview with CNN.

Part of Vlodomyr Zelensky’s optimism stems from a recent attempted coup against Putin himself by the mercenary Wagner Group. “We see Putin’s reaction. It’s weak,” Zelensky told CNN’s Erin Burnett in Odesa. “Firstly, we see he doesn’t control everything. Wagner’s moving deep into Russia and taking certain regions shows how easy it is to do. Putin doesn’t control the situation in the regions.”

And Zelensky also pledged that Ukraine will take back Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea annexed forcibly by Russia in 2014.

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“We cannot imagine Ukraine without Crimea,” he said. “And while Crimea is under the Russian occupation, it means only one thing: War is not over yet.”

The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022. It was supposed to end quickly. Russian forces had surrounded Ukraine on three sides, and even had forces stationed in neighboring Belarus to the west. But Ukraine was much better prepared to defend itself than the Russians ever imagined and succeeded in fending off the initial invasion assault.

President Volodymyr Zelensky deserves much of the credit for his country’s success in the fighting. He refused to leave the capital, Kiyv, and personally coordinated Ukraine’s defenses from a bunker.

Russia’s failures there have caused problems for its President Vladimir Putin. Putin even faced an attempted coups against him from his own ally and friend, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the mercenary Wagner Group. Russia was forced to rely on mercenaries just to continue the fighting. Russia even reportedly used convicted criminals as new recruits, promising them clemency for their service.

The invasion has caused Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 8 million Ukrainians fleeing the country and a third of the population displaced.

It also led to worldwide financial problems as embargos were imposed on Russia by both the U.S. and the E.U.

As of the start of July 2023, Russia controls about 27% of Ukraine’s territory, including the Crimean Peninsula, which it annexed in 2014, and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

The war has had a devastating impact on Ukraine, both in terms of human life and infrastructure. Thousands of civilians have been killed, and millions have been displaced from their homes. The country’s economy has been crippled, and the infrastructure has been severely damaged.



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