Zelensky Tells CNN Ukraine Ready to Fight Russia For 10 Years
17:27 GMT 17.04.2022 (Updated: 19:26 GMT 17.04.2022)
Russia began a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February following calls from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics to defend their civilian population amid intensified shelling by Ukrainian forces.
Ukraine is ready to fight for its land for ten years, the country's president Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with CNN.
"We want to liberate our country, to take back what belongs to us. We may be fighting with the Russian Federation for 10 years to take back what is ours. We may choose this path," Zelensky said.
He urged the West to speed up arms deliveries to Ukraine. "We need the equipment today or tomorrow, not within two or three months," Zelensky explained.
Also, Zelensky's economic adviser Oleg Ustenko said in a televised comment on Sunday that Kiev has asked the Group of Seven (G7) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $50 billion in financial assistance. He added that Ukraine has been also considering requesting a Special Drawing Rights loan from the IMF. According to Ustenko, Ukraine is currently losing about $7 billion a month, which adds up to roughly $50 billion over a six-month period.
This comes as Russia's special military operation in Ukraine has entered its 53rd day. On 24 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of the operation aimed at "protecting the people who have been subject to abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime." According to Putin, a major goal of the operation is to "demilitarise and denazify Ukraine" and hold all war criminals accountable for "bloody crimes against the civilians of Donbass." The Russian Defence Ministry has repeatedly stressed that its forces are targeting Ukraine's military infrastructure only and doing everything possible to avoid casualties among civilians and unnecessary material damage.
Moscow and Kiev have had several rounds of negotiations in the past few weeks but they have not resulted in any breakthrough so far.
The US and its NATO allies have condemned the Russian operation in Ukraine and imposed several packages of unprecedented sanctions on Russia, including the closure of airspace, freezing of its gold and currency reserves abroad, cutting some of the Russian banks off SWIFT, as well as slapping sanctions on some high-ranking officials and businessmen. At the same time, the West has been regularly providing Ukraine with financial assistance worth billions of dollars as well as lethal and non-lethal weaponry.