During his working visit to the Eastern Ukraine conflict zone, Zelensky spoke with the CNN reporters accompanying him to the frontline, about the situation in the war zone, Russia’s invasion threat, and the US ‘role’ in Donbas conflict resolution.
The president said that politicians have to visit the troops in the frontlines and not in military bases so that “the guys in the very front.. know they have political support” and are not ‘forgotten’.
Given the Russian army build-up on the Ukrainian border, Zelensky voiced his concern over a serious possibility of Russia’s invasion, adding that ‘they are ready, but we are also ready because we are on our land and our territory.’
Adressing the US role in the conflict resolution, Zelensky argued that US is a “good friend” of Ukraine, but that President Biden “must do more,” to hold back Russia. The Ukraine’s president is cited claiming that the country needed more money, more weapons to fight , and, the most crucially, backing to join NATO.
He admitted though that Ukraine’s NATO membership plan risked stoking Russia’s anger and could provoke a broader conflict:
“Maybe you are right,” Zelensky said.
“But what now is going on? What we do here? What do our people do here? They fight.”
Earlier, this month, following the war scare news in Donbas, Zelensky held a telephone call with the US president Joe Biden who expressed his ‘unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in Donbas and Crimea.’
The recent creeping escalation in Donbas made U.S. European Command went into high alert in light of the Russian movements and prompted the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to have urgent talks with NATO partners on Ukraine issue.
Recent developments on Ukraine-Russia border
On April 1, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence informed about possible Moscow’s provocations in Donbas posing a threat of a new offensive. Ukraine’s Army Commander-in-Chief Ruslan Khomchak claimed that Russia had deployed 28 battalion tactical groups to Ukraine’s border under the guise of military exercise with Belarus.
Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) reported a new Russian military field camp near the Ukrainian border raising concerns of a war threat.