Oleksii Reznikov, the Ukrainian Defense Minister, said it is “hard to predict when the war will end, but my optimistic projection is that it may end by the end of the year.”
Reznikov was speaking at the GLOBSEC-2022 forum in Bratislava in Slovakia.
He said Ukrainian defense forces still “need heavy weapons, primarily MLRS, as well as other artillery, tanks, anti-ship systems, unmanned systems, missiles and air defenses.”
“We need them quickly and in quantities commensurate with the scale of the threats. Ukraine found itself in a state of war without adequate support from the democratic world,” he said.
“The situation is changing now, but slowly. We appreciate the contribution of each country which is currently with Ukraine, which has committed itself to increase the effectiveness of international support,” Reznikov said.
He added: “Ukraine has changed its philosophy in the supply of weapons. If in the first month of the war we focused on obtaining anti-tank and anti-aircraft portable systems, now the nature of the war has changed and we need more heavy weapons.”
“In the Kherson region, the Russian army is building a deeply echeloned defense. Our goal is to prevent Russian scenarios from being realized and to liberate our territories as soon as possible,” he said.
Russian forces are carrying out missile and air attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to Ukrainian military, as troops seek to capture the key cities of Severodonetsk and Sloviansk.
Here are the latest developments from Saturday.
Fighting in the east: Russia’s air activity “remains high” over eastern Ukraine and has contributed to Russia’s “recent tactical successes,” but has “failed to have a meaningful impact on the conflict,” according to the latest intelligence assessment from the UK’s defense ministry.
The Ukrainian military maintains that the Russians are making little progress, particularly in Donetsk.
In Sloviansk, hundreds of people have fled as the Ukrainian military said Russian units are being reinforced on the approaches to the city in preparation to resume an offensive. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Friday the Russians are concentrating a force of up to 20 battalion tactical groups in the area. Artillery was used against several settlements north of the city, according to a military spokesman.