Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised his countrymen that the eastern Donbas region would be “Ukrainian again” — even as Russian forces continue to make gains in the troubled territory.
“That’s why we have to increase our defense, increase our resistance, and Donbas will be Ukrainian again,” Zelensky said in a Friday address CNN reported. “Even if Russia will bring all suffering and ruination to Donbas, we will rebuild every town, every community. There’s no real alternative,”
Zelensky also conceded that fighting in the troubled region was “very difficult.” The US Department of Defense said Russia continues to make “incremental gains” in Donbas.
Russia’s original invasion aims, which included overrunning Kyiv and installing a pro-Russian government, have been stymied, the country has come close to taking complete control over Ukraine’s far east.
After heaving fighting Friday Ukrainian forces may have to retreat from their last stronghold in Luhansk. If Ukraine pulls out, it will give Russia complete control of both Luhansk and Donetsk.
The western commitment to Ukraine continues. On Friday US arms building Raytheon signed a $624 million contract with the Department of Defense to produce more Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, CNN reported. The short range anti-aircraft missiles have little value for US defense bit have been highly sought in Ukraine where they have proved effective against Russian hardware.
More than 1,400 Stingers and launchers have been sent to Ukraine since the start of the war in February.