Zelensky says Ukraine will not attack Russian territory in counteroffensive

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the media at joint press conference with Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger, Moldova’s President Maia Sandu, Slovenia’s Prime Minister Robert Golob and Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic during Bucha Summit in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky said Sunday that a planned counteroffensive by his country is not aimed at attacking areas inside of Russia, but is meant to free occupied territory in his nation.

Zelensky, speaking alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, made the statement following speculation that Ukraine may target Russian territory in its military counteroffensive.

“We don’t attack Russian territory, we liberate our own legitimate territory,” Zelensky told reporters. “We have neither the time nor the strength (to attack Russia).”

Zelensky made the statement while he has been on a tour of European allies, asking for more military and financial assistance after the war against Russia passed the one-year mark earlier this year.

His press conference with Scholz marked his first trip to Germany since the start of the war and comes just hours after Germany announced a package of military assistance for Ukraine worth more than $3 billion. The assistance includes tanks, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition. Zelensky also made a stop in Italy.

Scholz said at the press conference that Germany will support Ukraine “for as long as necessary.”

While Germany was at first reluctant to provide lethal aid to Ukraine and faced criticism, it is now one of the largest supporters of the country in its war, coming in behind only the U.S. Scholz’s proclamation at the press conference indicated that the level of support would continue.

The question over whether Ukraine would target Russian territory comes after claims from Moscow this month that Ukraine launched a drone attack on the Kremlin, a claim that Kyiv denies.

Tags Germany Olaf Scholz russia ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky

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