Russia's war against Ukraine is entering a protracted phase, as there are many indications of Russia preparing for a long-term military operation, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a statement at the EU Foreign Affairs Council, attended by EU defense ministers and the NATO Secretary-General, on May 17.
"We can already see how the Russian occupiers are beginning engineering and fortification works in Kherson, in Zaporizhzhya oblasts in order to go on in the defensive if necessary,” the defense minister noted.
"The war is destroying the Ukrainian economy. The need for resources for recovery is increasing day by day. This protracted war creates the risk of a global food crisis, as well as another migration crisis. With this in mind, we want to defeat the enemy and liberate our territories as soon as possible. Do not let Russia prolong the conflict.”
Reznikov added that despite huge losses taken by the invaders – namely 17 BTGs that have been completely destroyed in 80 days – Russians still outnumber Ukraine in heavy weapons: specifically airpower, armored vehicles, multiple launch rocket systems, and artillery.
He reiterated that atrocities of the type seen in Bucha are taking place wherever Russian troops are stationed, and every day of the war brings greater casualties to Ukrainian military and great suffering to the civilian population.
"...We are very interested in receiving international aid, buying weapons as quickly as possible and in the right quantities," the defense minister emphasized.
"We need tanks, armored vehicles, and long-range fire weapons systems (MLRS, heavy artillery, aircraft, missiles). We are striving to save the lives of our people."