Zelenskyy called isolation of Crimea and Russia’s defeat in the Black Sea Ukraine’s main goals in the war

“The center of gravity” of Ukraine’s war in 2024 will be Crimea – Kyiv will seek isolation of the peninsula and degradation of Russia’s military potential on the Black Sea, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

A successful operation against Crimea will be “an example for the whole world” and will have a big effect inside Russia, Zelensky said in an interview with The Economist. He said the loss of a central element of the Kremlin’s propaganda will show that “thousands of Russian officers died only because of Putin’s ambitions”.

Zelenskyy emphasized that Ukraine is already winning victories on the strategically important peninsula by destroying a “good number” of Black Sea Fleet ships. However, the Ukrainian leader reminded that military success directly depends on Western assistance. In particular, he requested a German Taurus cruise missile to destroy the Crimean bridge and cut off the peninsula from Russia.

At the same time, Zelenskyy refused to talk about specific plans, citing that leaks before the June 2023 counteroffensive helped Russia prepare its defenses. Also, the Ukrainian president is no longer making any promises or putting a time frame for de-occupation of Russian-held territories in the east of the country.

The immediate task, according to Zelenskyy, will be to defend cities in the east and south such as Kharkiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhya, Kherson and Mykolaiv. He also recalled the need to protect the country’s critical infrastructure from Russian strikes.

Zelensky is counting on U.S. military aid, but noted that Kyiv needs to increase its own production in case Western supplies are not enough. As part of this plan, he asked the U.S. government to grant Ukraine licenses to produce weapons ranging from artillery systems to air defense missiles.

The Ukrainian president also stated that the “mobilization of Ukrainian society and peace” that was there at the beginning of the war is not there today. “This needs to be changed. <…> Mobilization is not only a matter of sending soldiers to the front. It concerns all of us. It is the mobilization of all efforts. This is the only way to defend our state and de-occupy our land”, Zelenskyy said.

According to him, if Ukraine switches to domestic politics, it will have to forget about the counter-offensive and the return of the captured territories. At the same time, Zelenskyy noted that Kyiv cannot abandon its plan to defeat Russia.”If there are no forces, then either leave or step aside. We will not retreat”, he concluded.

Home / News / In the world / Zelenskyy called isolation of Crimea and Russia’s defeat in the Black Sea Ukraine’s main goals in the war