MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky conceded that Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive had not produced the results Kiev had hoped for.
"We wanted faster results. From that perspective, unfortunately, we did not achieve the desired results. And this is a fact," he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The Ukrainian leader reiterated Kiev’s position that this was due mainly to Ukraine not receiving all the weapons it wanted from the West.
"We have a new phase of war and that is a fact. <...> Winter as a whole is a new phase of war," he told the AP.
When asked if he felt any pressure from the West to start negotiations with Russia amid a failed counteroffensive, he said: "I don’t feel it yet," he said as he added that "some voices are always heard."
However, Zelensky admitted that Ukraine could feel that the West had been paying more attention of late to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. "We already can see the consequences of the global society switching [its attention] because of the tragedy in the Middle East. <…> Only the blind could not recognize this," he said.
On Thursday, the Ukrainian leader convened a meeting to discuss erecting fortifications on the border with Russia and Belarus as well as along the line of engagement. Zelensky called for a "faster construction" as he said that the Avdeyevka, Maryinka, Kupyansk and Krasny Liman areas as well as the entire Kharkov, Sumy, Chernigov, Kiev and Rovno regions, Volyn and the Kiev-controlled areas of the Kherson Region were key. Commenting on these reports, Ukrainian lawmaker Alexey Goncharenko said that Ukrainian troops were going on the defensive.