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Zelenskyy's unspoken strategy for Ukraine's victory

The classified blueprint for Ukraine's triumph

Source: Euronews

Ukraine's counteroffensive is still on track and will achieve its set goals by the end of the year, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday.

"We have a plan. I can't share all the details but we have some slow steps forward on the south, also we have steps on the east," Zelenskyy said at a conference in New York.

Zelenskyy's comments come after a high-ranking Ukrainian military officer claimed the frontline had reached a stalemate. e was a stalemate at the front lines.

Commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi called it a World War I-type slowdown, which the Ukrainian president publicly denounced.

“Our military is coming up with different plans, with different operations in order to move forward faster and to strike the Russian Federation unexpectedly," Zelenskyy said in an interview earlier this month.

Despite admitting Ukraine's "fatigue" in its fight against the Russian invasion, he has repeatedly pleaded for more military supplies from Western allies.

“But bare-handed (this is) impossible to do without weapons, without the proper weapons,” he told NBC News on Sunday.

Russia is sending Ukrainian prisoners of war to the front lines of their homeland to fight on Moscow's side in the war, according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

The news agency said on Tuesday the soldiers swore allegiance to Russia when they joined the battalion, which entered service last month.

Video from RIA Novosti showed the Ukrainians swearing allegiance to Russia, holding rifles and dressed in military fatigues.

Euronews could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the report or videos. POWs could have been coerced into their actions.

Experts say such actions would be an apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions relating to the treatment of prisoners of war, which forbids them from being exposed to combat or from working in unhealthy or dangerous conditions — coerced or not.

The Institute for the Study of War in Washington said there have been previous reports of Ukrainian prisoners of war being asked to “volunteer” for the battalion.

“Russian authorities might claim they are recruiting them on a voluntary basis but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where a prisoner of war’s decision could be taken truly voluntarily, given the situation of coercive custody,” said Yulia Gorbunova, senior researcher on Ukraine at Human Rights Watch.

Russian authorities on Wednesday demanded an eight-year prison term for an artist and musician who was jailed after speaking out against Moscow's war in Ukraine.

Sasha Skochilenko was arrested in her native St. Petersburg in April 2022. She faces charges of spreading false information about the military after replacing supermarket price tags with antiwar slogans decrying the invasion.

Her arrest took place about a month after authorities adopted a law effectively criminalising any public expression about the war in Ukraine that deviates from the Kremlin's official line.

The legislation has been used in a widespread crackdown on opposition politicians, human rights activists and ordinary Russians critical of the Kremlin, with many receiving lengthy prison terms.

The 33-year-old has been held in pre-trial detention for nearly 19 months.

Independent Russian news site Mediazona cited Skochilenko as saying that she was “in shock” over the severity of the sentence being sought.

Russia's most prominent human rights group and 2022 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Memorial, has declared Skochilenko a political prisoner.

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