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12 Sep, 2022 18:13

Zelensky admits Ukraine is dependent on US

Kiev can’t fight without Washington’s continued support, the Ukrainian leader claims
Zelensky admits Ukraine is dependent on US

Ukraine could face defeat in its military conflict with Russia without continued financial and military help from the US, its President Vladimir Zelensky has told CNN. 

He was responding to a question about the affect internal American politics could have on his country, during an interview aired on Sunday, but recorded in Kiev at some point over the past week.

“I’m grateful to President [Joe] Biden and the White House and the bipartisan support,” Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. "Without this support, we will not be able to return our lands.”

“I want to believe that bipartisan support will remain strong and steadfast. For us, that’s extremely important,” Zelensky added, addressing Zakaria’s claim that a Republican victory in the November midterms would result in the US “supporting Ukraine less.”

If the West stops sending weapons and money to Kiev, “Russia could win this fight,” Zelensky opined. He added that he would be willing to make arguments in defense of the aid to US taxpayers, who need to know their money is being used to defend Western “values.”

The US has funneled more than $30 billion in military aid to Ukraine, of which $17 billion came between the 2014 coup and the escalation of hostilities in February. The most recent batch of ammunition and weapons, announced last week, was valued at $675 million.

In addition to weapons, ammunition and cash to fill Ukraine’s budget, the US and the UK intelligence agencies are “working with the Ukrainians,” including the planning for last week’s offensive in Kharkov Region, according to Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

“This kind of collaboration shows the strength of our combined military intel,” Warner, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN on Sunday.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.