Putin ‘would like to see us all dead’ says Kostiantyn Yelisieiev
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The former Ukrainian ambassador to the EU warned Vladimir Putin is aiming to “erase Ukraine from the international map” as he called on the UK and US to supply more weapons to aid Ukraine. Russia’s military has begun a large-scale offensive along the easter frontline with Ukraine in a bid to take over the entire Donbas region.
Mr Yelisieiev told Sky News: “Putin does not need either Mariupol, nor Donbas, nor Lviv he would like to have in his own pocket the whole Ukraine.
“His aim, just to if not to conquer Ukraine at least to erase Ukraine from the International map.
“So that’s why now we are fighting for our existence, for our independence.
“The tragedy of the situation that Ukrainians we would like to survive, we would like to live in peace and democracy and at the same time, Putin would like to see all us dead.”
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He continued: “So I would like just to call upon to the entire world. Please understand us clearly, currently under your eyes, there is a real tragedy.
“So please help us and please, act more decisively and not to wait not to think and in this regard, I count very much on the leadership of Great Britain and the United States in order to mobilise the massive support in terms of defence and offensive weapons to Ukraine.”
Russian forces are trying to push through Ukrainian defences along almost the entire front line in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said on Tuesday.
After being pushed back by Ukrainian forces from an assault on Kyiv, Russia has regrouped to focus on a new offensive in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine: Zelensky marks start of Russian offensive in Donbas
Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said Russian forces were trying to find “sensitive spots” in Ukraine’s defences.
He added: “Their offensive will fail – I give you a 99 percent guarantee – they simply do not have enough strength.”
“The battle for Donbas, which was announced and apparently began yesterday, is underway and is going very cautiously.
“The battle will not go in Russia’s favour,” he said on national television.
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The UK will send armoured anti-aircraft vehicles to Ukraine to help Kyiv’s forces as they face a Russian onslaught in the country’s east.
The Stormer vehicle launches Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles which can be used to target planes and helicopters.
Boris Johnson is expected to speak to allies including US President Joe Biden on Monday to discuss Western support for Ukraine as Russian forces focused on capturing the Donbas region.
The supply of the Stormer to Ukraine comes after the UK invited Ukrainian generals to Salisbury Plain earlier this month to see the military kit which could be available to them, including armoured vehicles.
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