Zelenskiy ‘didn’t want to hear’ Russian invasion warnings, says Biden | Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy “didn’t want to hear” warnings of Russian invasion, according to US President Joe Biden.

Speaking at a fundraising reception in Los Angeles on Friday, Biden said “there was no doubt” that Vladimir Putin had planned “to come in.”

“Nothing like this has happened since World War II,” he told donors. “I know a lot of people thought maybe I was exaggerating.

“But I knew we had data to support [Putin] was about to enter, beyond the border. There was no doubt…and Zelenskiy didn’t want to hear it.

Biden was talking about his work to rally and solidify support for Ukraine as the war continues into its fourth month.

However, despite continued Western support for Ukraine and Zelenskiy, a former British army chief has accused the leadership of lacking a long-term strategy in the conflict.

General Lord Richards said the British government had adopted a “let’s see how it goes” strategy and was not showing “decision”.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph he said: ‘There is, at best, what might be called an incremental strategy without, again, any early and decisive synchronization of ends, ways and means. It’s a “let’s see how it goes” strategy, ie not really a strategy at all.

“There are still few ideas in London, Washington or anywhere else about how ‘we’ want the war to be fought, or what kind of Russia we seek to shape, especially on the vital long-term issue. term of relations with China.

He said leaders should consider whether there was an opportunity to “persuade a weakened Russia to align itself with the West” rather than be lured by China’s influence.

“Britain remains one of the world’s leading economic and military powers, although today it is a decidedly regional strategic power,” he added.

“Strategy is a matter of choice and the more choices that have to be made to balance ends, ways and means in pursuit of the national interest, the more informed they need to be.”

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Zelenskiy said on Saturday Ukraine was on course to win the bitter war with Russia, as fighting centers on a key city in the east.

Russian forces attempted to capture Sievierodonetsk in an eastward advance, turning it into one of the bloodiest battles of the conflict to date.

“We are definitely going to prevail in this war that Russia has started,” Zelenskiy told a conference in Singapore via video link. “It is on the battlefields in Ukraine that the future rules of this world are decided.”

But neither side’s forces have so far been able to steal a march despite fierce street fighting, which has seen much of the city reduced to rubble, the news agency reported. Reuters.

The British Ministry of Defense said on Saturday that Russian forces had not advanced into the south of the city on Friday.

“Intense street-to-street fighting continues and both sides are likely to suffer a large number of casualties,” the department said in an intelligence update posted on Twitter.

Addressing the Shangri-La Dialogue event from a secret location in Kyiv, Zelenskiy said it was crucial that countries sending aid did not back down.

“If…due to the Russian blockades, we are unable to export our food, the world will face an acute and severe food crisis and famine in many countries in Asia and Africa,” did he declare.

He said Russia was blocking ports on the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov, preventing Ukraine from exporting food to the rest of the world.

It comes as Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russians were in control of most of the city, after days of sharp advances and slow retreats by both sides in a conflict that a Ukrainian military official said had become “an artillery war”.

Meanwhile, Mariupol’s mayor said sewage systems were broken and corpses rotted in the streets of the southern city decimated by Russian shelling.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said on Telegram that at least 287 children had died in the war so far, after saying it learned of the deaths of 24 other children in Mariupol.

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Post expires at 6:26am on Thursday June 23rd, 2022