Zelensky says that without the United States, Ukrainian forces will have to withdraw

Zelensky says that without the United States, Ukrainian forces will have to withdraw

President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview published on Friday that If Ukraine does not get the promised US military aid, blocked by disputes in Congress, its forces will have to withdraw “in small steps.”

If there is no American support, it means we have no air defense, no Patriot missiles, no jammers for electronic warfare, and no 155-millimeter artillery rounds.“he told the Washington Post.

“It means that we will retreat, we will withdraw, step by step, by small steps,” he added. “We're trying to find a way not to go backwards“.

Ammunition shortages, Zelensky noted, would mean that “we have to do it with less. How? Of course, going backwards. Shortening the front line, which if broken, the Russians could reach the big cities.”

Democratic President Joe Biden has urged the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives to back the military and financial aid package, but House Speaker Mike Johnson has delayed the issue for months, citing domestic priorities.

Zelensky told Johnson in a telephone conversation on Thursday that approval of the package was vital.

The Russian army captured the eastern city of Avdiivka last month and has made small progress since then, but the front lines have changed little in months.

In his interview, the Ukrainian president stated that Ukraine was making up for missile shortages with domestically produced weapons and air defense systems“but it's not enough”.

After more than two years of war, Russia has in recent weeks intensified its attacks on energy and other types of infrastructure. Ukrainian soldiers have been unable to advance, and Zelensky said kyiv intended to continue attacking targets in Russia, including oil refineries.

He said Washington's reaction to the wave of Ukrainian attacks “was not positive,” but that kyiv was using its own drones.

“We use our drones. Nobody can tell us that you can't,” he told the newspaper. “If there is no air defense to protect our energy system and the Russians attack it, my question is: why can't we respond to them?“, he claimed.