With the arrival of the first tanks Ukraine believes in

With the arrival of the first tanks, Ukraine believes in an “inevitable” victory in the war

Ukraine’s victory in the war against Russia will be “inevitable” if Western countries, which have started supplying heavy tanks, continue to help Kiev, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday (24) marking the first anniversary of the country’s invasion.

“If our partners keep their word and meet the deadlines, an inevitable victory awaits us. I really want it to be this year,” Zelenskyy said in Kyiv.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced in the Ukrainian capital that four German Leopard 2 heavy tanks had already arrived in Ukraine and promised to send 60 Polish PT91 tanks “very soon”.

Sweden said it would deliver “about” ten Leopard 2 tanks, and Germany announced it would send four more, in addition to the fourteen already planned to bolster Ukrainian resistance.

The Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has announced a general counteroffensive in view of the heavy fighting in the east of the country.

Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Currently, several Ukrainian cities are in ruins, part of the country is under Russian occupation, and the number of dead and wounded on both sides exceeds 150,000, according to Western estimates.

European Commission President Ursual von der Leyen said Russian President Vladimir Putin had “not achieved even one” of his goals in a year of war.

“Instead of wiping Ukraine off the map, Putin is taking on a nation stronger than ever,” said von der Leyen, from the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

Russia was banking on a quick win that would keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence. Now it seems to limit its ambitions to recognizing the annexation of four breakaway provinces in eastern Ukraine.

Despite this, former President and number two of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, said the country will achieve “victory” and is ready to follow it “to the borders of Poland”.

The US government announced new sanctions against Russia on Friday, including measures against banks and the defense industry to restrict Moscow’s access to strategic technologies such as semiconductors.

However, US President Joe Biden on Friday ruled out supplying Ukraine with F16 fighter jets for the time being, saying in an interview with ABC News that Zelenskyy “does not need an F16 at the moment”.

The EU (European Union) has also passed its tenth round of sanctions, which “imposes restrictions on individuals or organizations that support war, spread propaganda or supply Russia with war drones”.

The G7, the group of the world’s most industrialized countries, threatened “high costs” for countries helping Russia to evade the imposed sanctions.

In Berlin, demonstrators set up the remains of a Russian tank in front of the Moscow embassy as a “symbol of Russia’s demise.”

A minute’s silence is observed outside the Russian embassy in London, attended by MPs and diplomats.

Ukrainians also honored their dead.

A photo exhibition in Bucha recalled the horror experienced by this city on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.

The exhibition was set up in a church next to where victims of the Russian occupation were buried in a mass grave before the expulsion of Russian soldiers by Ukrainian forces in late March 2022.

“During the occupation, we stayed here with my wife for a month. We didn’t move, we saw all these horrors,” said retired teacher Serguii Zamostian, 62, as he left the church.

The UN General Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution by 141 votes in favour, seven against and 32 abstentions, calling for the “immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of all Russian forces” from Ukraine.

China, which is trying to position itself as a neutral party to the conflict while maintaining close ties with Russia, on Thursday put forward a 12point proposal for a “political solution” to the conflict, in which it warns that nuclear weapons will be allowed, calling for dialogue not be used and requires that civilians not be attacked.

“It seems to me that in this plan our territorial integrity is respected. We need to work with China on this,” said Zelensky, who agreed to attend a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Russian diplomacy said it “appreciated” China’s efforts but insisted Moscow’s control of Ukraine’s four annexed provinces must be recognised.

A UN spokesman called the Chinese plan “an important contribution”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed skepticism about the plan. “China doesn’t have much credibility because it couldn’t condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine,” he recalled.

The stagnation of these stagnant prospects for peace gave way to other initiatives.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reiterated his proposal to form a group of countries to set up a negotiating table, a proposal Moscow says it is considering.

Zelenskyy, in turn, expressed his willingness to reach out to countries in Latin America and Africa, several of which abstained from voting in the General Assembly on Thursday.

Ukrainians admit a year later that they are fed up with the sound of warning sirens and constant cuts in electricity and water supplies from the bombings, but believe the conflict will end on good terms.

Oksana, 60 years old, resident of Kramatorsk (East), admits that she lives “in fear” and hopes for “peace”.

Galyna Gamulets, 64, a Bucha resident, said she was proud of her nation and that the country was “successfully” driving out the invaders.

The founder of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on Friday that his troops had taken control of the city of Berkhiva north of Bakhmut, which had been under Russian troops for months.