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Zelensky blames the world for Russian offensive in Kharkiv, but Ukrainian troops beg to differ
By Ramon Tomey // May 22, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is blaming the world for Russia's offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region – but his troops on the front line beg to differ.

The Ukrainian leader issued this rebuke on May 16, airing out his frustration to ABC News as the U.S. news outlet joined him on a tour of a hospital in Kharkiv city. Zelensky visited several of the hospital's wards, meeting injured soldiers and awarding them medals of valor. The president and his team moved quickly throughout the medical facility lest they get caught in the crossfire between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

"The situation is very serious; we cannot afford to lose Kharkiv," Zelensky told James Longman of ABC News. "It's the world's fault – they gave the opportunity for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to occupy. But now the world can help."

The Ukrainian president, whose term expired on May 20, took umbrage at the delays in the passage of the $61 billion aid package in the U.S. Congress – which was only authorized last month. "Brigades are not totally equipped because of the package, which we waited through for eight months."

Not even an additional $2 billion in aid money promised by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken assuaged the frustrated Zelensky. "Dialogue is good, but we need help now," he remarked. (Related: U.S. to send another $2 billion to Ukraine amid Russian onslaught in Kharkiv.)

"All we need are two Patriot [air defense] systems. Russia will not be able to occupy Kharkiv if we have those. That money is not given to Ukraine; it's money spent in American factories, creating American jobs. And we are not just fighting for our freedom. If not Ukraine, it would be another country."

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Zelensky "was very clear that the delay in U.S. aid has had a direct impact on the war and the situation along the northeastern border," ABC News stated. "Hundreds had lost their lives or been wounded in the last few days, he said. Many were soldiers from this region, so it was important for him to be there, supporting them."

Ukrainian soldiers: What happened in Kharkiv was a BETRAYAL

While the Ukrainian leader blamed Moscow's success on weapons shortages, soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) begged to differ. According to AFU service members, there were no proper fortifications to deter the Russians from entering Kharkiv. This, despite Kyiv receiving intelligence that showed Russia amassing troops on the border of Kharkiv.

Denys Yaroslavsky, a commander of a Ukrainian Special Reconnaissance Unit under the AFU, was among those voicing out their outrage. He told the BBC's defense correspondent Jonathan Beale that Kharkiv had no fortifications, allowing the Russians to simply walk in. According to the British public broadcaster, Yaroslavsky "fought in Ukraine’s surprise offensive in Kharkiv in the autumn of 2022, which pushed back an initial Russian invasion all the way back to the border."

"There was no first line of defense. We saw it. The Russians just walked in. They just walked in, without any mined field," the commander said. "Either it was an act of negligence, or corruption. It wasn't a failure. It was a betrayal."

Because of this, Yaroslavsky wants to know what happened to Ukraine's defenses. Ukrainian anti-corruption activist Martina Boguslavets said the money meant for fortifications may have been embezzled. In a piece for the online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, she alleged that much of the money earmarked for building fortifications in Kharkiv was likely stolen through shell companies.

Given this possibility, Yaroslavsky's indignation is justified.

"Of course I'm angry," Yaroslavsky told Beale. "When we were fighting back for this territory in 2022, we lost thousands of people. We risked our lives. And now because someone didn’t build fortifications, we're losing people again."

Head over to UkraineWitness.com for more stories about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Watch Tim Kirby discussing the possibility of the Kharkiv region being turned into a demilitarized zone in the clip below.

This video is from the Tim Kirby Russia channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Russia's new invasion is targeting Ukraine’s second largest city, and that could bring us to the brink of "nuclear Armageddon."

Russia goes on the offensive: Here's what’s behind the advance in Ukraine's Kharkov Region.

America has run dry of Patriot missiles to send to Ukraine – so what's next?

Zelensky complains about the West "turning a blind eye" toward Ukraine.

Russia intensifies ground assault in Kharkiv region.

Sources include:





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