Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urgently warned that if Russia defeats his country, other European countries, such as Germany, will also be at risk. The German federal government has now realized that “Russia will move closer to Germany if we do not resist,” Zelensky said in an interview with ARD broadcast on Sunday night and recorded on Wednesday.
The Ukrainian head of state added that it seemed to him that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz “understands this risk. And that clearly means – Third World War.” Zelensky added that he could not say whether Russia would first attack Germany, Poland or the Baltic States after a victory over Ukraine.
The Ukrainian head of state appealed for more help for his country. Any support from its partners is very important for Ukraine, “so that Ukraine does not have the feeling of being alone”. Germany and other states must show whether, from their point of view, Ukraine is “correct and Russia must be put in its place.”
As for the dispute over Germany's delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, Zelensky said this was “a theme” in his talks with Scholz. He declined to comment further on the progress of negotiations. However, he emphasized that it would “hardly help” Germany if it kept important weapons for itself rather than making them available to Ukraine in its current fight against Russia.
At the same time, Zelensky recalled that Germany had not taken Russia's aggression against Ukraine seriously enough for a long time. “I was disappointed with German policy, which, when Crimea was occupied, did not play the role that Ukraine, Europe and the world “deserved,” said Zelensky, referring to Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in 2019-2014 .
February 24th marks the second anniversary of the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. In the interview with ARD, Zelenskyy admitted the need to replace front-line soldiers through more frequent replacements. Zelensky said it was clear to him that given the achievements of Ukrainian soldiers, “gratitude is not enough.” “We need a fair rotation, they need vacations, because money alone isn’t worth it.”
Zelensky highlighted that a new law for more frequent replacement of front-line soldiers was being prepared. The Kiev government is responding to repeated protests by families of front-line soldiers demanding help for the fighters.