Ukraine must reclaim territories occupied by Russia before any cease-fire is possible, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. So far, Russia has captured the entire Luhansk region, parts of Donetsk and Zaporizhia region, and Khreson. “Any cease-fire that allows Russia to keep Ukrainian territories seized since the invasion in February would only encourage an even wider conflict, giving Moscow a badly-needed opportunity to replenish and rearm for the next round,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
In his nightly video address, Volodymyr Zelensky also commented the agreement on unblocking Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports, but warned that “diplomatic concessions to Moscow might stabilize the markets somewhat, but would only provide a temporary respite and boomerang in the future.” In his words, Ukraine now has about USD10 billion worth of grain, and that 20 million tonnes of last year's grain harvest will be exported, not counting the coming harvest.
According to the Ukrainian President, the multiple rocket launchers supplied by the West have had a material impact on the battlefield but that deliveries must stepped up considerably for a turnaround to be achieved. Volodymyr Zelensky stated further that anti-aircraft systems is what Ukraine now needs most to protect its towns from Russian shelling, and added that 30 Ukrainian servicemen are killed every day and approximately 250 are injured.
The Pentagon has denied Russia’s allegations that it has eliminated 4 of the 12 US-donated HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System). National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby announced that the US will send a new USD 270 million package of military aid to Ukraine, bringing the aid the US has provided to Ukraine since the start of the war up to USD 8 billion.