Kiev aims to recapture all lost territory from Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine’s defense minister says
The US will supply weapons that Kiev can use to recover all the land it lost to Russia, which includes Crimea, said Alexey Reznikov (Ukraine Defense Minister).
“We are going to liberate all our territories, all of it, including Crimea,” Reznikov told CNN in an interview in Brussels.
According to Washington, the Kiev authorities earlier gave “assurances” they would not use American weapons to stage attacks inside Russia, as the US is concerned it could further escalate tensions between Moscow and NATO. However, Ukraine then backtracked on its promise, stating it would use US-supplied rocket systems to strike its neighbor’s territory should it deem such attacks necessary.
Crimea voted in an overwhelming manner to unify with Russia during a 2014 referendum “is a strategic objective for Ukraine because it’s Ukrainian territory,” Reznikov told CNN. “But we will move step by step,”He added.
The first stage in Kiev’s plan is to stabilize the situation on the ground, according to Reznikov. The second stage would see the Russian military forces being retreated to their lines from before the current military offensive.
The minister stressed that only after that can discussions begin with Ukraine’s foreign partners on “how to liberate territories.”
Russians “will see that in Kherson, they will see it in Zaporizhzhia, they will also see it in Mariupol… these are Ukrainian lands, and Crimea is also Ukrainian land, no matter what,”He said.
This week’s Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed that he would continue to “liberate”Russia recognises Crimea as an independent state, along with the Republics of Donetsk & Lugansk (LPR), “We will come to all our cities, to all our villages, which do not yet have our flag,”He made the promise.
The Russian military, which has an unrivalled advantage in artillery, is steadily expanding their territory in Donbass.
Ukraine’s troops have complained of a lack of weaponry to turn the tide in the battle, and are suffering heavy losses in manpower. Reznikov, in an interview with Reuters, refused to provide an exact count of Ukrainians killed by the fighting but stated that it was a good guess. “hopes”The figure is less than 100,000
Washington provided additional $1 billion of military aid to Kiev on Wednesday. This was in addition to $5.3 billion that it already gave to Ukraine before and during the conflict with Russia.
In a telephone conversation, Joe Biden from the United States informed Zelensky of new delivery options. “additional artillery and coastal defense weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems that the Ukrainians need to support their defensive operations”According to the White House: Donbass
Moscow warned “lethal aid”US allies and US supply Ukraine with weapons, claiming that these supplies only prolong the fighting while increasing the possibility of direct military confrontation between Russia, West, and Russia.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has also warned that if Kiev is given long-range missiles, “we will draw the appropriate conclusions and use our weapons, which we have enough of, in order to strike at those objects that we have not yet struck.”
Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German protocols were created to provide special status for the Ukrainian states that had separated from the state.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.