“Putin falls after defeat”: Zelenskyj predicts the end of Moscow’s despotism

“Putin falls after defeat”
Zelenskyi predicts the end of Moscow despotism

After the nightly drone attacks on Kiev, President Zelenskyi directs his compatriots’ eyes to a longed-for goal: the overthrow of Putin and the end of Moscow’s despotism. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian counter-offensive is said to be imminent.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has predicted the fall of the Russian leadership after its defeat in its war of aggression. “Kiev and all our cities, our entire Ukraine will put an end to the history of Moscow despotism, which has enslaved many different peoples for a very long time,” he said in his evening daily video address. The head of state was not seen in a screened-off room, as is usual, but in the evening light on the street in front of the president’s office in Kiev.

Zelensky said Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defenses had managed to almost completely repel one of the largest Russian drone strikes since the beginning of the war. In this way, Russia tried to spoil the city’s birthday party for the people of Kiev. But Kiev has already survived a wide variety of atrocities in its history and will also survive the attacks of the Russians and will not allow them to conquer, says the 45-year-old. According to him, weapons like the Shahed drones cannot save Russia’s rulers. Because it despises life and culture, Russia can only lose the war, he predicted.

Zelenskyy also thanked all Ukrainian soldiers: “I am grateful to each and everyone who made it possible! Anti-aircraft missile forces and aviation of the Air Force, air defense of the ground forces and our mobile fire groups… Thank you, warrior!”

“The time has come”

The day before, high-ranking representatives of Ukraine had announced that the widely awaited counterattack to recapture Russian-occupied territories would soon begin. The offensive could begin “tomorrow, the day after or in a week,” National Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov told the BBC. The Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valery Zalushny, posted a video online showing Ukrainian soldiers taking an oath and preparing for battle, writing: “The time has come to take back what is ours.” Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak told the Guardian that preparatory operations such as the destruction of Russian depots and supply routes had already begun.

Russia began its war of aggression against Ukraine more than 15 months ago. After some initial successes, the Russian army suffered several painful defeats and withdrew from the Kharkov region and parts of the Cherson region. Despite this, Moscow still controls around a fifth of Ukraine’s territory, including Crimea, which was annexed in 2014.

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