Zelenskyy warns against showing ‘weakness’ as Russia lacks forces for new Kyiv assault

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asserted on Saturday that Russia does not currently possess sufficient military forces to launch a renewed large-scale offensive to capture Kyiv, as it attempted early in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asserted on Saturday that Russia does not currently possess sufficient military forces to launch a renewed large-scale offensive to capture Kyiv, as it attempted early in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. However, he warned that any perceived “weakness” from Ukraine or its Western allies could embolden Moscow to intensify its assaults.

Zelenskyy cautioned about the Russian military. His comments came during an interview with Finnish television channel YLE News.

The Ukrainian leader emphasized that it remains imperative for his nation and its partners to provide military aid to project continued resolve in the face of Russia’s invasion, now in its 15th month of warfare.

While repelling Russia’s initial multi-pronged offensive spearheaded by an armoured push towards Kyiv last year, Ukrainian forces were aided by logistical failures and overstretched supply lines that stalled the Russian advance. Subsequent counteroffensives then drove Moscow’s battered troops back from around the capital region.

However, analysts have warned that lessons learned and a downsized but more sustainable force posture could allow Russia to marshal a more formidable threat to Kyiv again should Ukraine’s defences appear to wane.

Zelenskyy’s comments appeared to aim at steeling national resistance and pressuring Ukraine’s partners to expedite weapons deliveries as Kyiv prepares for an anticipated new counteroffensive. The President has consistently made clear that only the full withdrawal of Russian troops from all occupied territory, including Crimea, can bring a settlement.

As the grinding battle drags on and casualties mount, Zelenskyy’s assessment suggests Kyiv believes Moscow still lacks the massed force required for a decisive final strike – even as both sides brace for further escalation on the horizon.