KYIV-Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he’s afraid to lose bipartisan support from the United States, following what he called “dangerous messages coming from some Republicans.”
“Mike Pence has visited us, and he supports Ukraine. First of all, as an American, and then as a Republican,” Zelensky said in a news conference with Spanish media in Kyiv on Saturday. “We have bipartisan support. However, there are different messages in their circles regarding support for Ukraine. There are messages coming from some Republicans, sometimes dangerous messages, that there may be less support.”
Zelensky said that regardless of who wins the next US Presidential election, maintaining bipartisan support is “the most important thing for Ukraine.” During the same news conference, Zelensky was asked if he fears for his own life, to which he replied that he thinks “it is more dangerous for Putin” due to the Russian president’s growing number of international adversaries.
The topic of whether the US should continue aiding Ukraine against Russia’s invasion has created a rift among the Republican party. GOP presidential candidates are split into two camps: Isolationists, particularly former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who believe the US is too involved in supporting Ukraine’s efforts to fend off the Russian invasion; and hawks, including several former Trump administration officials, who argue for an even more aggressive posture toward Russia. Both sides are warning that if their positions aren’t heeded, a world war could follow.
Says short-lived Wagner rebellion has diminished Russia’s strength on battlefield
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s attempted rebellion in Russia last week “greatly affected Russian power on the battlefield” and could benefit Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
“They are losing the war. They have no more victories on the battlefield in Ukraine, and so they are starting to look for someone to blame,” he said at a news conference with Spanish media that took place in Kyiv on Saturday.
But Prigozhin’s rebellion could be beneficial in the early stages of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, he added. We need to take advantage of this situation to push the enemy out of our land,” he said. Zelensky said the counteroffensive will not be done quickly because he values human lives and is strategic in where troops are deployed. “Every meter, every kilometer costs lives... You can do something really fast, but the field is mined to the ground,” he said. “People (are) our treasure. That’s why we are very careful.”
Zelensky also claimed 21,000 Wagner mercenaries have been killed in eastern Ukraine. He did not specify over what time period the supposed deaths took place. “The most powerful group of Wagnerites was in eastern Ukraine,” Zelensky said. “Our troops killed 21,000 Wagnerites in eastern Ukraine alone; 80,000 Wagnerites were wounded,” he added. “These were enormous losses for Wagner PMC.”