Updated on 04/10/2022 at 11:50 a.m.
- According to Zelenskyi’s adviser, Podoljak, Ukraine sees itself “ready for the big battles”.
- In the meantime, Western politicians are coming through the door in kyiv.
- “We are ready to fight and at the same time seek diplomatic means to end this war,” Zelensky told a news conference.
Ukraine sees itself armed for fierce combat with Russia in the east of the country. “Ukraine is ready for the big battles,” President Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said on Saturday, according to the Interfax news agency. Meanwhile, evacuations from the eastern regions continued. Western politicians took turns in kyiv: after the high representatives of the European Commission on Friday, Zelenskyy received the heads of government of Great Britain and Austria on Saturday.
Zelenskyj: “Are ready to fight and at the same time seek diplomatic ways”
“We are ready to fight and at the same time to seek diplomatic means to end this war,” Zelensky said during a press conference with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer. His adviser Podoliak stressed that with a victory in Donbass, Ukraine “will have a stronger position in the negotiations to dictate certain conditions”.
Over the past few days, the Russian army had withdrawn from northern Ukraine, particularly the region around the capital kyiv. Moscow says it wants to focus on eastern Donbass, which has been partially controlled by pro-Russian rebels since 2014.
Ukrainian authorities step up evacuation efforts
In anticipation of a massive offensive, local Ukrainian authorities have stepped up their evacuation efforts. The train station in the city of Kramatorsk was hit by a bomb attack on Friday. 52 civilians, including five children, died. Russia has denied any responsibility.
Dozens of survivors of the Kramatorsk train station attack were evacuated from Kramatorsk in buses and vans, AFP journalists reported. According to the Ukrainian railway company, several trains are now expected to bring refugees west from the neighboring city of Sloviansk.
Read also : All current information about Putin’s war against Ukraine in the live ticker
Johnson promises more arms deliveries
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised on Saturday to supply more weapons to Ukraine during an unannounced meeting with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv. It was thanks to Zelensky’s “determined leadership” and the courage of the Ukrainian people that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin’s “monstrous goals” in Ukraine were thwarted, Johnson said.
He announced the delivery of 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems to Ukraine. The British government announced on Friday that it would provide Ukraine with additional anti-aircraft missiles, 800 anti-tank missiles and drones.
Zelenskyj welcomed the British support. “Other western democratic countries should follow the UK’s example,” he said after meeting Johnson.
No armored personnel carriers “Marder” for Ukraine
The Ukrainian Armed Forces will have to do without German “Marder” infantry fighting vehicles for the time being. According to a newspaper report, kyiv now wants to buy them directly from the Dusseldorf-based Rheinmetall arms group after a refusal by the Federal Defense Ministry. As the “Bild am Sonntag” reported, the decommissioned tanks still have to be repaired – 35 tanks could therefore be delivered by the end of the year.
Rheinmetall initially suggested that the Bundeswehr immediately deliver the operational “Marder” to Ukraine, and then obtain the repaired tanks from Rheinmetall. The Federal Ministry of Defense, however, rejected this proposal, since the “Marders” of the Bundeswehr were deployed both on the eastern flank of NATO and for exercises and training. In addition, the Ministry doubts that the scrapped Rheinmetall “marders” can be rehabilitated quickly.