Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will take questions from journalists on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at an end-of-year press conference that comes with his military under pressure on the front and allies wavering on aid.

Zelensky last week embarked on a tour of Western countries to make the case for more military and political support for Ukraine as Russia's invasion grinds closer to the two-year-anniversary in February.

But he failed to convince Congress in Washington to approve $60 billion in support while in Brussels, Hungarian leader Viktor Orban blocked some 50 billion euros in aid earmarked for Kyiv.

Those setbacks on the diplomatic front come in the wake of a disappointing counter-offensive that Kyiv launched in June to using Western supplied tanks and weapons stockpiled over months.

Advertisement

By contrast, Russian President Vladimir Putin this month vowed victory during his year-end press conference, which he had cancelled last year as his troops were facing setbacks on the battlefield.

The Russian leader said his military goals in Ukraine were unchanged and promised to keep fighting until the country was "de-militarised" and "de-Nazified," building on battle-rattling rhetoric ahead of elections in March.

- Trust in leader dropping -

Zelensky is due to meet with Ukrainian journalists and foreign press after 1400 GMT Tuesday, at a time when recent polling suggests the general public are losing trust in the Ukraine leader.

Polish-Ukrainian Reconciliation – Bridging the Gap
Other Topics of Interest

Polish-Ukrainian Reconciliation – Bridging the Gap

In the emotionally charged period of Polish-Ukrainian historical disputes, against the backdrop of Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine, events are taking place that build bridges between people.

Zelensky, who was facing growing discontent before Russia invaded but became the global face of Ukraine's shock resistance, is again feeling political pressure at home.

Recent polling shows that the number of Ukrainians who trust Zelensky has dropped to 62 percent compared to 84 percent one year ago, as Kyiv's forces were celebrating gains in the east and south.

The advances from this year's counteroffensive were much more modest, with just a few villages in the south and east frontlines recaptured after months of fighting against entrenched Russian forces.

Advertisement

But society still overwhelmingly backs both the armed forces and their commander Valery Zaluzhny.

In a move that illustrates growing political divides, Kyiv residents have been gathering in the city centre to demand more funds to help the military reclaim territory.

Despite setbacks on the battlefield and hiccups in Western support for Kyiv, Zelensky has sought to present the Black Sea as a recent success story.

Ukrainian drones have forced some Russian warships to redeploy following several successful attacks there.

Ukraine also re-opened a maritime corridor for commercial cargo ships using its Black Sea ports, despite threats from Moscow that vessels using the hubs could be treated as military targets. 

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter