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26 Feb, 2024 07:23

Russia has spies in high places – Zelensky

The Ukrainian president fears leaks among his closest military aides as well as international partners
Russia has spies in high places – Zelensky

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky suspects members of his high command and international partners could be leaking information to Russia, he said on Ukrainian TV on Sunday. This comes amid a worsening battlefield situation for Kiev and ammunition shortages brought about by dwindling military aid from its international sponsors.

Following the failure of Ukraine’s much-anticipated 2023 counteroffensive, Russian forces have started making advances. Last week, Russia captured the city of Avdeevka, which was heavily reinforced by Kiev over the last few years. It was extensively used by Ukrainian troops to shell nearby Donetsk, the capital of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic.

Zelensky told journalists on Sunday that there will be another counteroffensive. “We have a plan, a clear plan. Several plans will be prepared because of information leaks,” he stated, adding that the fewer people who know about the plans, the better. “The plans for our counter-offensive actions last autumn were on the table in the Kremlin before those counter-offensive actions had even started,” he claimed.

He explained that given the number of tasks his high command faces, many people need to be involved, increasing the chances for leaks. 

“There are also some of our partners who, in order to provide us with weapons, know some of the directions of our actions [on the battlefield]. They must know, or they won’t allocate the appropriate package. And when there are so many people, the enemy has more details,” Zelensky said, although he did not elaborate on the people he suspects of leaking.

Waning military aid from the US, Kiev’s biggest war sponsor, has been blamed by Ukrainian officials for the country’s recent losses on the battlefield. US President Joe Biden has renewed his call to Congress to pass a supplemental budget request – of which $60 billion is earmarked for Kiev – saying he is not confident that Ukraine can hold on to other frontline cities without US weapons and ammunition.

Moscow has condemned the Western arms shipments to Ukraine, arguing that they will only prolong the conflict.