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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a late-night address warned Ukrainians that the coming weeks will be “difficult” in its all-out war against Russia.
“The coming weeks of the war will be difficult. And we must be aware of that,” he said Monday. “Yet we have no alternative but to fight. Fight and win.
“The occupiers want to take away from us…everything we have. Including the right to life for Ukrainians,” he added.
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A brutal war has been raging in Ukraine for more than three months, displacing roughly 13 million Ukrainians and resulting in an indeterminate number of civilian and military casualties.
The United Nations said Monday that 8,462 civilian casualties had been confirmed with 3,930 killed and 4,532 injured – though the agency has repeatedly warned the actual figures are believed to be “considerably higher.”
But despite the brutal fighting, intense shelling and worldwide condemnation, Zelenskyy appeared to suggest the conflict will only intensify.
“There has been no such war on the European continent for 77 years,” he said. “Total war.
“The enemy tries to destroy as many people and infrastructure as possible,” Zelenksyy added.
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Western defense officials warned at the onslaught of Russia’s second campaign in Ukraine that Moscow will rely heavily on artillery as it looks to take “full control” over the country’s eastern and southern regions.
The UN said “most” of the civilian casualties were caused by heavy explosives that have a “wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and airstrikes.”
Zelenskyy echoed these statements and said Russian forces have levied nearly 1,475 missile strikes using 2,275 different missiles, along with another 3,000 airstrikes made by Russian aircraft.
“The vast majority was aimed at civilian objects,” he said. “What other country has withstood such a scale of strikes?”
Ukraine’s military has taken a pummeling as well and Kyiv on Monday reported its biggest military loss in a single strike when 87 people were killed by four long-range missiles that hit Ukrainian reserves forces training near Desna, in the northern Ukrainian region of Chernihiv last week.
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Zelenskyy said eastern Ukraine continues to see the greatest amount of fighting and accused Russia of orchestrating a “massacre” in the Donbas.
Ukraine’s defense ministry has reported that over 29,300 Russian soldiers have been killed in the months-long fight and Zelenskyy said Moscow is now sending reservists to some areas to fight.