Ilhor Zhovkva, from the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a stern warning to European leaders that the war in Ukraine could spread to other European countries if they do not now provide Ukraine with military equipment necessary for self-defense. His call comes as tension mounts in the eastern region of Donbass where Russian troops are advancing and could soon take full control of the breakaway Russian-backed province of Donetsk.
Speaking to Channel 4 News, he said: “Don’t think somewhere in Madrid or somewhere in London you’ll just be sitting in front of the screen or in front of the laptop and watching this like a movie. No, this horror movie can come to you if you don’t stop this horror movie here in Ukraine.”
Channel 4 News reporter Matt Frei asked: “Is there a danger here, finally, that there is a division between these countries, obviously you but also the Baltic republics, Poland who see this as an existential threat to their existence and countries that see Russia as an existential threat to their prosperity?
“Well, look, you know, it’s a moral choice,” Mr Zhovkva said. “You have endangered prosperity as one, you know, a stake. And the other stake is the death of the Ukrainian people. And you have a stake, you think the war is only in Ukraine, but you must think that the war is not only in Ukraine. It is physically now in Ukraine, but it is against everyone in Europe.”
On how the war might end, Mr Zhovkva said: “We’re not going to end the war on somebody else’s terms, you know. And that’s what the chancellor told us clearly. Scholz, President Macron, Prime Minister Draghi, Prime Minister Johnson during their visit to Kyiv.”
“It will be up to Ukraine to decide when and how to end the war. Certainly, there has been…”
Channel 4 News’ Matt Frei cut him off by asking: ‘So no pressure from these Western leaders?’
“No, no,” Mr. Zhovkva said. “But the pressure from us was, please give us more and more weapons.”
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Matt Frei asked, “How long do you think this is going to be?”
“Nobody knows,” Mr Zhovkva said. “Time definitely plays into the hands of the Russians. We, unfortunately, lose people every day. And that’s not, you know, the Ukrainian people’s desire for every Ukrainian.”
The exact number of Ukrainian dead from the devastating war is difficult to determine, although some Ukrainian officials have given estimates. While presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych told the Guardian that there were 150 killed and 800 injured a day in early June, another, Mykhaylo Podolyak, told the BBC that the daily Ukrainian death toll stood at 100 in 200.
After losing the last Ukrainian stronghold held in Donetsk province, Ukraine is now focusing its efforts on Lysychansk in the eastern province of Lugansk – the last Ukrainian-controlled province of Donbass.
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