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Zelensky says Kharkiv may be just the first wave of the Russian attack

Zelensky says Kharkiv may be just the first wave of the Russian attack

The governor of Kharkiv state, northeastern Ukraine, announced that nearly 10,000 people had been evacuated amid Russian advances in the region.

In an interview with Agence France-Presse, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attack “may be only the first wave of a broader attack.”

The Kiev leader also stated that Ukraine has only 25% of the necessary air defense and that it needs 120 or 130 F-16 fighters to reach air parity with Russia.

He added, “The army needs more men to raise the morale of the troops. We need to fill the reserves. There are a large number of empty brigades.”

He stressed that Moscow does not have the necessary means to launch a new major attack on Kiev, but Donbass and Kharkiv are the main targets.

Regarding the “Olympic Truce” proposal put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron, Zelensky disagreed: “We are against any truce that benefits the enemy. No one can guarantee that Russia will not seize the opportunity to bring its forces to our territory.”

He also criticized the West for preventing Ukraine from using weapons supplied by Europe and the United States to attack Russian territory: “They can strike us from their territory, and this is the biggest advantage, and we cannot do anything.”

Russia’s TASS agency reported that Moscow forces “killed” 125 Ukrainian soldiers over the past 24 hours in Donbas.

In light of the progress, Poland said it would invest 2.3 billion euros to strengthen the eastern border with Ukraine. This was announced by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday (17) during a visit to China that the goal in Kharkiv is not to occupy the region, but to create a security “buffer zone”. .