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Zelensky: Russian forces 'still have time to leave, otherwise we will destroy them'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 3, 2023 7:29 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a press conference in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on March 31, 2023. (Kyodo News via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke of Ukraine's upcoming spring counteroffensive saying that Russian forces "still have time to leave — otherwise we will destroy them."

Zelensky said on April 3 that he could not divulge specific details about the upcoming counteroffensive, "because we cannot give the terrorists from the Russian Federation an opportunity to prepare for our methods and steps toward de-occupation."

Discussions surrounding the counteroffensive have been ongoing for months.

On March 25, Zelensky said that the counteroffensive had been pushed back due to a weapons shortage, including heavy equipment and fighter jets.

Slovakia and Poland have been the first countries to step forward and pledge fighter jets to Ukraine. Slovakia transferred on March 23 four of the 13 MiG-29 jets, with Poland delivering its first batch on April 3.

So far, no country has decided to send Western-built fighter jets, though several allies, including the U.K., have not publicly ruled out such a move.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov shared in an interview with Estonian channel ERR that the Ukrainian military is likely to launch its counteroffensive in April or May.

"I am sure that we will continue to liberate temporarily occupied territories, as was done in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson (oblasts). This will all continue," Reznikov said.

Editorial: Arming Ukraine won’t escalate war. Reluctance to do so will
First it was the tanks, now it’s the fighter jets. As Ukraine braces for another possible major Russian offensive in the upcoming weeks, Western leaders are yet again coming up with a variety of excuses why this time, they cannot justify supplying F-16 and F-35 fighter jets to Ukraine.
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