President Volodymyr Zelensky did not want to hear that Russia was preparing to invade Ukraine after inputs were collected by the US intelligence, US President Joe Biden said in a startling revelation.
“Nothing like this has happened since World War II. I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating. But I knew we had data to sustain he (Russian President Vladimir Putin) was going to go in, off the border,” President Biden was quoted as saying in reports at a Democratic fundraiser in Washington.
“There was no doubt,” Biden said. “And Zelensky didn’t want to hear it.”
Although President Zelensky has inspired people with his leadership during the war, his preparation for the invasion — or lack thereof — has remained a controversial issue, AP reported.
Ahead of the start of the invasion, which Russia still calls a “special military operation”, on February 24, the US-led West had repeatedly warned about the military build up near the Ukraine border.
The Western leaders have repeatedly urged Putin for a de-escalation in tensions. However, the Russian President launched a surprise offensive, triggering shock worldwide.
Earlier on Friday, Kyiv expressed concerns that the West may lost interest if the conflict lingers, “The fatigue is growing, people want some kind of outcome (that is beneficial) for themselves, and we want (another) outcome for ourselves,” Zelensky said.
Meanwhile, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the country is losing upto 200 troops a day while fighting on the front line with Russian forces.
According to the aide Mykhaylo Podolyak, hundreds of Ukrainian troops are under relentless bombardment as Russian forces attempt to take control of the whole of th eastern Donbas region, the BBC reported on Friday.
While reiterating that Ukraine still requires Western artillery, he said: “The Russian forces have thrown pretty much everything non-nuclear at the front and that includes heavy artillery, multiple rocket launch systems and aviation.”
Podolyak added that the “complete lack of parity” between the two rival armies was the reason for Ukraine’s heavy casualty rate.
“Our demands for artillery are not just some kind of whim, but an objective need when it comes to the situation on the battlefield,” the BBC quoted the aide as saying, who went on to add that Kiev needs 150-300 rocket launch systems to match Russia, which is a much higher number than it has received so far.
He also stressed that peace talks between Kiev and Moscow can resume if Russia surrendered the territory it has gained since it launched the invasion on February 24.
Meanwhile, Russian forces have concentrated their assault on the eastern city of Severodonetsk.
On Wednesday, President Zelensky said “the fate of the Donbas is being decided there” and officials said it has been reduced to rubble by intense Russian artillery and missile barrages.