When questioned about Putin’s assertion that he has Jewish acquaintances who consider Zelensky to be “not a Jew,” the Ukrainian President, Zelensky, shared his thoughts.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t hold back in responding to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim about his Jewish identity.
When confronted with Putin’s assertion that he has Jewish friends who consider Zelensky a “disgrace to the Jewish people” and “not a Jew,” Zelensky took a moment to collect his thoughts.
After a deep breath, Zelensky expressed his uncertainty about how to address the question. Eventually, he spoke his mind, stating that Putin’s words seemed to lack complete understanding and likening him to the “second king of antisemitism after Hitler.”
Zelensky’s powerful statement highlights his strong stance against antisemitism and sheds light on the tensions between the two leaders.
“This is a president speaking. A civilized world cannot speak that way,” said Zelensky. “But it was important for me to hear the reaction of the world and I am grateful for the support.”
Zelensky Stresses Slow Progress in Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, Rejects Pressure to Hasten
President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged that Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian forces was progressing slower than desired but emphasized that Kyiv would not succumb to external pressure to accelerate the operation.
In an interview with the BBC, Zelensky highlighted the misconception that some people had regarding the nature of the conflict, comparing it to a Hollywood movie where instant results were expected. He emphasized that the stakes were high, as it involved the lives of people caught in the crossfire.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that there was a temporary pause in Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which had commenced earlier in the month. Putin asserted that Ukraine possessed some offensive capabilities but acknowledged that Kyiv had “no chance” of success, as stated in televised remarks.
Ukraine reported the recapture of eight villages as part of its long-awaited counteroffensive, marking significant gains on the battlefield after a seven-month period. However, Ukrainian forces have yet to penetrate the primary defensive lines that Russia had months to fortify. It is believed that Kyiv has designated 12 brigades, each consisting of thousands of troops, most of whom have not yet joined the fighting.
Reuters correspondents, who visited several villages reclaimed by Ukrainian forces, confirmed a territorial advance of several kilometers. Moscow claims to have been resisting Ukrainian advances since early June.
The situation remains tense as Ukraine strives to regain control, while Russia maintains its defensive positions established over time. The conflict continues to unfold with geopolitical ramifications and implications for the lives of those directly affected by the hostilities.
Ukraine Reports 35 Armed Clashes, Downed Drones, and Increased Russian Activity
According to Ukraine’s armed forces general staff, there were 35 armed clashes in the main sectors of the front within the past 24 hours. While specific details were not provided, the report highlighted that Ukrainian anti-aircraft units successfully downed 32 out of 35 Iranian-made Shahed drones.
The situation in the Lyman sector in eastern Ukraine has seen an escalation of enemy offensive actions, indicating increased activity by Russian forces, as per Ukrainian officials. Russian shelling was reported across the eastern region and in the Zaporizhzhia region.
President Zelensky, quoted by the BBC, acknowledged the challenges faced by the military push, attributing the difficulty to the extensive presence of landmines across approximately 200,000 square kilometers (77,220 square miles) of Ukrainian territory laid by Russian forces.
The ongoing clashes, the downing of drones, and intensified Russian activity underscore the volatile nature of the conflict and the immense challenges Ukraine faces in its efforts to regain control over its territory.
“Whatever some might want, including attempts to pressure us, with all due respect, we will advance on the battlefield the way we deem best,” he added.
Kyiv’s Recent Gains Stalled as Consolidation Takes Priority
Following initial gains, the pace of territorial capture has slowed for Kyiv, with the capture of only one additional village, Pyatikhatky, over the past week. Officials stated that forces in the south have been primarily consolidating earlier gains, while troops in the east have been successfully repelling Russian attacks.
Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar explained, “They had partial success over the past day, they have consolidated at the boundaries that were reached, and they have evened up the front line.”
President Zelensky’s interview with Britain’s public broadcaster coincided with a conference in London, where allies pledged significant economic and reconstruction aid. The United States offered $1.3 billion, while Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal expressed hope for nearly $7 billion from the event.
The West has already provided Ukraine with substantial military equipment, including tanks and armored vehicles, which form the backbone of its counteroffensive force. Some supporters of Ukraine express concerns that Kyiv needs to demonstrate impressive results on the battlefield in the coming weeks to maintain political support from Western nations.
Both sides have intensified longer-range attacks using missiles and drones as they prepare for the fighting at the front. Russia claimed to have shot down drones that had entered the region surrounding Moscow. Kyiv refrains from commenting on reports of attacks inside Russia.
In other diplomatic developments, European Union governments have agreed on the 11th package of sanctions against Russia. The measures aim to prevent other countries and companies from circumventing existing sanctions.