When Russia’s full-scale invasion started on February 24, the Ukrainian military had two strategic goals for Ukraine’s defense.

“We will fight until the last drop of blood,” General Valeriy Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, told TIME in an interview entitled “Inside the Ukrainian Counterstrike That Turned the Tide of the War.”

According to him, the victory of Ukraine will not be final but will be a preparation for the next war.

“Knowing what I know firsthand about the Russians, our victory will not be final. Our victory will be an opportunity to take a breath and prepare for the next war,” the General said.

He told journalists how Ukraine secretly prepared for a Russian attack by relocating and camouflaging military hardware, moving troops and weapons out of their bases, and sending them on tours around the country.

“I was afraid that we would lose the element of surprise. We needed the adversary to think that we are all deployed in our usual bases, smoking grass, watching TV, and posting on Facebook,” TIME quotes the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as saying.

When the invasion started on the morning of Feb. 24, the general had two strategic goals for Ukraine’s defense.

“We could not allow Kyiv to fall. And, on all the other vectors, we had to spill their blood, even if in some places it would require losing territory,” Zaluzhny said.

The aim, in other words, was to allow the Russians to advance and then destroy their columns in the front and supply lines in the rear.

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