In an interview with the German newspaper Bild, President Volodymyr Zelensky disclosed that Ukraine has devised a plan for a new counteroffensive, stressing the critical need for modern weapons.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive plans

“Yes, Russia has more people, more weapons. But the united West has modern weapons systems,” Zelensky said, suggesting that this may be key to Ukrainian victory.

 Zelensky told Bild that Ukraine has put together counteroffensive plans: “But that also requires weapons. Also from the USA.”

The Ukrainian president said that he does not intend to negotiate with Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, nor reward the Kremlin with any parts of Ukraine.

“We are dealing with Putin here,” Zelensky said, “Everything he has said so far – after that, he acted differently. We can’t trust him.”

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Zelensky cautions against freezing the war

While the idea of a frozen war might make some people “happy,” with the world thinking: “We managed to freeze the conflict, the missiles aren’t flying,” it would only give Russia a chance to increase its production and stockpiles of military equipment, missiles, and drones and analyze all the mistakes it made at the beginning,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky cautioned European leaders, particularly German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, against falling for the trap of believing in a frozen war.

Zelensky Expects Russia Offensive in Northeast Ukraine to Intensify
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Zelensky Expects Russia Offensive in Northeast Ukraine to Intensify

Zelensky said Russian troops had managed to advance between five to 10 kilometers along the northeastern border before being stopped by Ukrainian forces, but warned it may only be the “first wave.”

“It's like a break when you watch a movie. But it's not a movie, it's reality. It's a break. And it's time for Putin,” Zelensky added.

Trump invited to visit Ukraine

He also addressed former US President Donald Trump’s alleged plans for ending the war.

Bild highlighted Trump's role in blocking a vital US aid package to Ukraine and fostering anti-Ukraine sentiments.

Zelensky revealed that while he did not personally call Trump, the former US president was invited to Ukraine both publicly and privately.

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“We expressed our desire for Donald Trump to come to Ukraine so that he could see the situation with his own eyes and draw certain conclusions. I am definitely ready to meet with him,” Zelensky said.

Regarding Trump's response, Zelensky said that Trump expressed his desire to visit Ukraine but did not specify a timeline. Zelensky expressed hope that the visit would happen “soon.”

The Ukrainian president said: “If it is about us simply giving up our territories, and if this is the idea (of the peace plan), then it is very primitive.”

However, Zelensky assured that he is open to hearing Trump’s proposal.

“But we need strong arguments. We don’t need a fantastic idea, but a real one. This is about human lives, we can’t make jokes, and we can’t take risks,” he told Bild.

Russian big offensive on Kharkiv

In his conversation with Bild, Zelensky did not rule out the possibility of a new large-scale attack by Russian troops on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

 At the onset of the full-scale invasion, Putin aimed to seize Kharkiv “because it holds significant symbolism for him.”

“Kharkiv is one of Ukraine’s capitals, so it carries great symbolic importance,” he said.

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However, Zelensky said that Ukraine will do everything in its power to stop Russia from taking the city, which had a population of about 1.4 million in 2017.

“We are taking every possible measure to prevent this from occurring.”

Why does Scholz refuse to supply Taurus missiles to Ukraine?

Zelensky said that the primary reason behind German Chancellor Scholz's refusal to supply Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine is the belief that they are the non-nuclear power’s strongest weapons and biggest deterrent.

“From what I understand, the chancellor indicates that Germany, not being a nuclear power, considers the Taurus system its most potent weapon. Scholz cannot afford to leave his country without this weapons system,” Zelensky said.

However, no weapon would be “truly effective” in a nuclear conflict, including ATACMS and F-16s, Zelensky said..

Zelensky said discussions are ongoing and that the issue is “not so simple.”

The future of Ukraine without US aid

Zelensky admitted that Ukraine's defeat in the war with Russia is possible without an aid package from the US.

In an interview with Bild, he explained the gravity of defeat: “He [Putin] will destroy everything. He will kill a lot of people.”

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“Most people will not escape, so he will kill many of them. What will it look like? There will be a lot of blood. There will be many casualties and many losses. We are talking about hundreds of thousands,” Zelensky said.

The Ukrainian president also acknowledged the success of the Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, saying: “This has a big impact on the war. The attacks on the energy supply are causing great pain to the population and cities.”

Air defense systems are urgently needed to protect the Ukrainian civilian population from Russian attacks.

“Above all, we need air defense systems. First we have to be able to defend ourselves,” Zelensky said.

“Putin only understands power. He behaves like an animal. If you can’t defend yourself, he will destroy even more. His wish is to take over the whole of Ukraine,” he added.

Zelensky highlighted Ukraine’s progress in drone production but said that they “do not replace air defense, long-range missiles, and artillery.”

In his conversation with Bild, Zelensky also addressed whether his 11-year-old son Kyrylo fears defeat in the war with Russia.

Zelensky said that his son asks him when Ukraine will win.

“We will definitely win. We have no alternative. But I cannot promise that and give a date,” Zelensky said.

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