Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has acknowledged that the conflict between Israel and Gaza is “distracting attention” from the conflict in Ukraine, where Gaza has captured the world’s attention and garnered international sympathy, causing Ukraine to lose the spotlight and international support.
He said this was “one of the goals” of Russia, which launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and denied that the fighting in Ukraine had reached a stalemate, despite recent assessments to the contrary by the country’s top military general.
According to the BBC, Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the south has not achieved any significant progress or success so far, raising concerns of war fatigue among Kiev’s Western allies, with signals of increasing reluctance in some capitals to continue providing Ukraine with advanced weaponry and financial support.
Separately, Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustam Amrov said on Saturday that Ukrainian soldiers from the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade “Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia)” had been killed, and he ordered a “full investigation into what he described as a “tragedy.”
The Ukrainian military also reported that it succeeded on Saturday in hitting the “submarine infrastructure and ports” of a shipbuilding factory in the southern peninsula of Ukraine, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.
Stalemate and Alleged Victories
The BBC explained that Zelensky pointed out that there was much talk in the past year about the stalemate on the vast battlefield in Ukraine – but he referred to major military victories by Kiev in the northeastern region of Kharkiv and in the south in Kherson.
It continued that Zelensky rejected media reports suggesting that he was under increasing pressure to consider negotiations with Russia, saying, “Today, none of the leaders of the European Union, the United States, and others – our partners – are pressuring us to sit down now to negotiate with Russia, or to give up something, and this will not happen.”
Moscow also commented on Zelenskyy‘s assessment on Thursday, where the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said that the current situation on the battlefield is not “a deadlock.”
Dmitry Peskov said, “All the goals set for the war must be achieved,” adding that Ukraine must realize that even talking about any possibilities of the Kyiv regime’s victory on the battlefield is absurd.
President Putin has repeatedly claimed that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed, while his defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, said this week that Kyiv is losing the war despite new arms supplies from NATO allies.
In recent weeks, Moscow has sought to advance in eastern and northeastern Ukraine, but the Ukrainian military says it has repelled all attacks.