| 2 March 2024, Saturday |

Zelenskiy assures Ukrainians of victory with US aid in the balance

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told Ukrainians on Wednesday that Kyiv would defeat Russia and win a fair peace “against all odds” as the future of vital U.S. military and financial aid hung in the balance.

Zelenskiy delivered his defiant message in an unusual early-morning video that showed him walking through Kyiv on his way to pay his respects to fallen soldiers on what Ukraine marks as Armed Forces Day.

“It has been difficult, but we have persevered,” said Zelenskiy, who filmed himself on a mobile phone as he walked from his office down the central Hrushevskoho street towards central Kyiv’s “wall of remembrance”.

“It is not easy now, but we are moving. No matter how difficult it is, we will get there. To our borders, to our people. To our peace. Fair peace. Free peace. Against all odds.”

His remarks appeared to respond to uncertainty over the future of a $60-billion aid package being debated in U.S. Congress that has been stuck for weeks.

On the streets of Kyiv, residents said they were worried and already felt the pain from delays in Western military aid.

“I’m scared that if Ukraine is left without help, the war will drag on longer and longer and it will be difficult to say when it could end,” Olha Starostenko, a 33-year-old economist, told Reuters TV.

“A friend of mine recently died fighting. We need to get the help as soon as possible, every day of delay means loss of human lives,” said Tymur Dushko, 51, who works as an adviser on labour security.

  • Reuters