Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia’s new strategy to destroy Ukraine’s infrastructure and plunge it into darkness would not weaken the country’s resolve to liberate all occupied land, describing the conflict as a “war of strength and resilience”.
Pushing back against western fears of escalation, Ukraine’s president insisted there would be no lasting resolution to the war unless Russia withdrew from all the territories it was occupying.
Moscow has stepped up a bombing campaign against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure since last month, hoping to force Kyiv to make concessions despite its advances on the battlefield.
“We must return all lands . . . because I believe that the battlefield is the way when there is no diplomacy,” Zelenskyy told the Financial Times. “If you can’t get your land back entirely, the war is simply frozen. It’s a question of time before it resumes.”
On Wednesday, Russia launched 70 missiles against infrastructure targets across Ukraine, leaving about 80 per cent of the country in the dark and without water. All 15 of Ukraine’s nuclear reactors were taken offline because electricity became unstable.
Speaking in the presidential office, which was also out of water supply, Zelenskyy said this week’s strike was unimaginable in the modern world.
“It was the kind of incident that hasn’t happened for I don’t know how many years, maybe 80, 90 years: a country on the European continent where there was totally no light.”
He said Ukrainians could despair or fight. “The state superbly fought back. Energy workers, the state emergencies’ ministry, deminers, everyone worked to fix and restore power and provide at least a bit of water.”
By Thursday morning the nuclear reactors were being reconnected and water had started to return in some districts of the capital Kyiv. “This is a war about strength, about resilience, it is about who stands stronger.”
Even before Wednesday’s strikes, half of the…
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