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28 Aug, 2023 11:14

Zelensky admits he fears being abandoned by West

Kiev would be left to fend for itself if the conflict with Moscow spilled over into Russia, the Ukrainian president has claimed
Zelensky admits he fears being abandoned by West

Kiev would risk losing international support if its conflict with Moscow spilled over into Russian territory, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has claimed. Russian officials have accused Ukraine of launching numerous “terrorist attacks” inside their country, including on Moscow.

In a TV interview on Sunday, Zelensky insisted that Ukraine is prepared for a “long fight” against Russia, provided it could mitigate the level of casualties.

When asked by journalist Natalia Moseichuk if the conflict should “move to the territory of Russia,” the Ukrainian leader responded: “That would pose a great risk that we would be left alone.”

Kiev insists that it only attacks military targets inside regions that it claims sovereignty over, such as the Crimean Peninsula, and denies conducting strikes on Russian territory. That stance contradicts regular attacks on border regions as well as kamikaze drone raids deeper inside Russia, which Moscow has blamed on Kiev’s forces.

The Ukrainian role in launching drone strikes on Russia as well as alleged Western complicity was highlighted in a report by The Economist on Sunday. According to the British news magazine, foreign sponsors provide intelligence to Ukrainian planners, while “Russia cannot lock down the entirety of its vast territory.”

The Ukrainian drone program has no single command but is backed by the government, the article claimed. While the arrangement fosters competition, it also means that “some of the operations targeting Moscow appear to be PR projects designed to bring a prototype to the attention of procurement bosses, rather than having military value,” the outlet reported.

Moscow has long warned that by supplying increasingly advanced military capabilities to Kiev, Western nations are dragging themselves deeper into the conflict and risking escalation. Russia perceives the hostilities as part of a larger Western proxy war waged against Moscow. Washington has openly declared that it wants Russia to suffer a “strategic defeat” in the conflict with Ukraine.