Zelenskyy’s spokesman denies war ‘stalemate’ narrative in recent presidential interview, calls for ‘accuracy in wording’

Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the front
Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the front

"There was no mention of an alleged 'stalemate' at the front" in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's interview with the Italian television channel RAI, his spokesman Serhiy Nikiforov wrote on Facebook on Feb. 5.

"The accuracy of the wording is important." Nikiforov said, calling for "choosing words more carefully in the future and not supporting destructive narratives" when discussing the results of the summer actions and especially the naval operations, which, according to Zelenskyy, yielded positive results.

"Ukraine was able to restore an independent 'grain corridor', but the land part of the operations ended in stagnation. We are talking specifically about counteroffensives in the south," Nikiforov said, adding that this does not mean that it is appropriate to describe the overall situation at the front as a "stalemate", and that Kyiv will continue to de-occupy its territories.

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He also quoted Zelenskyy’s original response:

"I would say this: the naval part of the operation had a positive effect — we forced their ships out, Russia lost many ships, and most importantly, it lost influence in the Black Sea, and we established a ‘grain corridor’ independent of Russia,” Zelenskyy said.

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“So this part of the operation, the pragmatic part of the operation, which affected the economy, the budget of Ukraine, we achieved it. As for the land operation, you are right, and there is stagnation there. And this is a fact, because something was missing. Sometimes you think that with a certain date, they will move forward. I think there have been delays in terms of [delivery] of the required amount of relevant ammunition. And delays are a miscalculation. But to be honest, we are not just fighting a terrorist organization — we are fighting terrorists who are one of the largest armies in the world.”

On Feb. 4, the media reported that Zelenskyy admitted that there was a "stalemate" on the front and blamed it on the delay in Western military aid.

In a series of articles, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, said that the war was entering a positional phase for Ukraine. The President's office issued several statements indirectly contradicting the general, but Zelenskyy soon acknowledged the difficult situation at the front in an interview, though he clarified that he did not believe the war had reached a stalemate.

According to Bloomberg, tensions between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi escalated when The Economist published Zaluzhnyy’s article claiming that the fighting had "reached a stalemate".

European diplomats, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, believe that Zelenskyy was "irritated" by this because he is very "sensitive when it comes to criticizing the course of the war.”

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine