Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in an interview, cautioned that unless the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) win a protracted battle in a key eastern city, Russia could begin assembling international support for a deal that could compel Ukraine to make unacceptable concessions, as reported by the Associated Press.
According to President Zelenskyy, if Russian forces were to capture Bakhmut, Vladimir Putin would “sell this victory to the West, to his society, to China, to Iran. If he will feel some blood — smell that we are weak — he will push, push, push,” said Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy emphasized that in the event of defeat in the battle for Bakhmut, the President of Ukraine anticipates that the international community and the Ukrainian society would exert pressure quickly. Ukrainian society can become weary and seek a compromise.
“Our society will feel tired. Our society will push me to have compromise with them,” stated Zelenskyy.
However, Ukraine’s president does not feel such pressure at the moment.
President Zelenskyy, in an interview, also extended an invitation to the country to the strategically significant leader, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has not visited Ukraine yet.
Zelenskyy stated that he communicated with Chinese President Xi Jinping prior to the outbreak of the full-scale war. However, there was no communication between the counterparts throughout the entire year of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. President Zelenskyy indicated willingness and readiness to meet and engage in a dialogue.