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Zelensky in Munich: 'If Ukraine left alone, Russia will destroy us'

by Nate Ostiller February 17, 2024 11:43 AM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks on day two of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. (Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 17, urging more security assistance from Ukraine's allies amid ammunition shortages and the recent withdrawal from the embattled city of Avdiivka.

Zelensky's appearance at the conference comes at a crucial moment for Ukraine. The military was forced to withdraw on Feb. 17 from the heavily battered city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast as Russian forces attempted to encircle it.

Meanwhile, the country is facing a growing shortage of ammunition as further aid to Ukraine remains tied up in the U.S. Congress.

"Keeping Ukraine in the artificial deficits of weapons, particularly in a deficit of artillery and long-range capabilities, allows (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to adapt to the current intensity of the war," he said in the speech.

Zelensky also commented on the withdrawal from Avdiivka, saying the aim was to "save our soldier's lives."

Concluding his speech, Zelensky said, "Please do not ask Ukraine when the war will end. Ask yourself why Putin is still able to continue it."

If "Ukraine is left alone, Russia will destroy us," the president said during a public interview with CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour following the speech.

When asked by Amanpour about what he would say to the Republicans responsible for the ongoing deadlock over Ukraine aid in the U.S., Zelensky quipped, "Is this being shown on television now? Then I won't (say anything)."

He added that he plans to meet with U.S. senators later in the day and reiterated his gratitude to the U.S. for the support provided so far.

Zelensky was also asked about the potential return of former U.S. President Donald Trump to the White House. He said that Trump had been invited to Ukraine.

"If Trump (comes) to Ukraine, I am ready to go with him to the front line."

Zelensky said in January 2024 that Trump would be warmly received in Kyiv under one condition: the former U.S. president must demonstrate his ability to end the war with Russia within 24 hours, as he has promised.

Trump has said repeatedly his primary goal regarding the war would be to secure a ceasefire in 24 hours, but he has not specified on what terms it would potentially be.

Syrskyi withdraws Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka
Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi published a statement announcing his decision to withdraw Ukrainian units from the heavily battered city.
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