Negotiations with Russia are ongoing but are “only words”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message posted to social media on Wednesday night.
“Yes we have negotiations process but they’re only words, without anything concrete,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky said the “alleged pullback” of Russian troops from Kyiv and Chernihiv is not a retreat but a result of the work of the Ukrainian military.
“There are other words about alleged pullback of Russian troops from Kyiv and Chernihiv, and reduction of activities of the occupiers in these territories. This is not a retreat, this is the result of the work of our defenders, who pushed them back,” he said.
He went on to say that Russian troops are concentrating in the Donbas region for new attacks, saying Ukrainians are “ready for this.”
“We will not give anything away and we will fight for every meter of our land.”
He urged the public not to criticize the performance of the Ukrainian armed forces, saying, “If someone thinks that he or she can teach our military how to fight, and how to stand up to the enemy, the best way to do it is to go to the battlefield on your own, not from a couch at home or from a safe place you escaped to — but from real battle grounds and show your abilities to fight. If you’re not ready to do that, don’t even start to teach our defenders how to do their job.”
The Ukrainian president said he had an hour-long call with US President Joe Biden and thanked him for the additional $500 million in aid for Ukraine.
According to the White House, Biden and Zelensky “discussed how the United States is working around the clock to fulfill the main security assistance requests by Ukraine, the critical effects those weapons have had on the conflict, and continued efforts by the United States with allies and partners to identify additional capabilities to help the Ukrainian military defend its country,”
Zelensky said the support of the US is crucial for Ukraine, adding, “If we want to fight for freedom together - then we ask our partners to help and if we are really fighting for freedom and protection for democracy ourselves, we have all rights to demand help in this crucial difficult moment. We need tanks, warplanes, artillery… Freedom has to be armed no worse than tyranny.”