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Russia’s war in Ukraine could last ‘for years’, says NATO chief

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Nearly four months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine, NATO is now warning that the war could drag on for years.

“Nobody knows. We have to prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not stop supporting Ukraine. Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, but also because of the increase energy and food prices,” said NATO Secretary General Jens. Stoltenberg told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

“If Putin learns from this war that he can just continue as he did after the 2008 war in Georgia and the occupation of Crimea in 2014, then we will pay a much higher price,” he said. he added, referring to food and gas prices that rose in the aftermath of the war.

Some senior US officials had predicted just weeks before the invasion that the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv would fall in just 72 hours after Russia invaded, but Ukrainian forces put up fierce resistance, aided by tens of billions of defense and military aid dollars from the West. .

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Stoltenberg said a new arms package is on its way to Ukraine pending a NATO summit in Madrid later this month.

“The NATO allies support Ukraine financially, with humanitarian aid and, last but not least, with military equipment. In addition, the NATO summit – to which I invited the President [Zelenskyy] – will adopt a comprehensive package of aid to Ukraine. For now, it’s about helping Ukraine fight for its existence against Putin’s brutal invasion,” Stoltenberg told the newspaper.

After Russian forces withdrew from Kyiv in April, fighting coalesced around the eastern regions of Donbass and Luhansk, where Ukrainian forces are trying to repel an offensive on the industrial city of Sievierodonetsk.

“With more modern weapons, the likelihood increases that Ukraine can drive Putin’s troops out of [Donbas] again,” Stoltenberg told Bild am Sonntag.

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Zelenskyy visited frontline forces in the south on Saturday, where Ukraine is defending key Black Sea port cities like Mykolaiv and Odessa.

“It is important that you are alive. As long as you are alive, there is a strong Ukrainian wall protecting our country,” Zelenskyy told soldiers in Odessa as he presented medals for their “heroic” service.

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Post expires at 9:20pm on Wednesday June 29th, 2022