ua en ru

Avdiivka, mobilization and world without Putin: Zelenskyy's statements at Munich Conference

Avdiivka, mobilization and world without Putin: Zelenskyy's statements at Munich Conference Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo: press service of the Office of the President)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the Munich Security Conference. He talked about the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Avdiivka, criticized the world's attitude towards Russia, and also called Vladimir Putin a dictator.

RBC-Ukraine compiled the main statements of the Ukrainian president in Munich.

How long will the world tolerate Putin

At the beginning of his speech, Zelenskyy reminded that the war in Ukraine poses a threat to the entire world, as it is a war against any rules.

"How long will the world let Russia be like this? This is the main question today. The longer the Russian aggression against the rules-based world order continues, the greater the changes it provokes. Perhaps the people will have to live in a world where local wars will not remain local. Any outbreak of a war risks turning into a global catastrophe," he said.

According to Zelenskyy, using food or migration as weapons can disrupt existing regional balances and undermine many political systems - not only in Europe but also in the Middle East, Africa, and America.

"Perhaps, Europe is facing times when a question of invoking Article 5 of NATO Treaty will not be a question for Washington at all, but rather for European capitals.

There are hundreds of such "perhaps". On February 23, 2022, none of them existed. Now, they are a part of reality. And what do we lack in this reality? Security. Neither for the largest nor for the smallest state," the president added.

About Avdiivka

In his speech, Zelenskyy mentioned Avdiivka, from which Ukrainian troops withdrew last night. He emphasized that this happened due to insufficient support for Ukraine from international partners.

"Ukraine can win. Our actions are limited only by the range and sufficiency of means of attack. But this depends not only on us. The situation in Avdiivka confirms this. Unfortunately, keeping Ukraine in an artificial deficit of weapons, particularly in"a deficit of artillery and long-range weaponry, allows Putin (Vladimir Putin, the Russian dictator) to adapt to the intensity of combat," the president said.

Later, answering questions, Zelenskyy explained that the decision to withdraw from Avdiivka was right, professional, and fair and aimed to preserve the personnel.

"To save our people is our top priority. We cherish our people, our soldiers - because this is protection. Weapons from our partners help restore peace in our territory, but military protection of people comes first. Therefore, to avoid being encircled the decision to retreat to other positions was made," he said.

Putin - a dictator

Moreover, Zelenskyy criticized the world for not being tough enough on Putin and called the Russian dictator a thug.

"After the murder of Alexei Navalny, it's absurd to perceive Putin as a supposedly legitimate head of the" Russian state. He is a thug who maintains power through corruption and violence. Coming to his so-called "inauguration," shaking his hand, considering him an equal means to disdain that's nature of political power," the head of state said.

The president added that Putin has two options - either sit in the dock or be killed by one of his cronies.

"He has only two options ahead – to be in the dock in The Hague, or to be killed by one of his accomplices who are now killing for him. Destroying the source of wars and destabilization is our key task. It is fair," Zelenskyy said.

He also called for doing everything possible to defeat the Russian regime.

"We all must do not something but everything possible to defeat the aggressor. Please, everyone, remember that dictators do not go on vacation," the president emphasized.

Fair mobilization

Commenting on the issue of mobilization, Zelenskyy stressed that it must be fair. And "fairness" means that professional and trained soldiers should replace soldiers going on rotation.

"The question of fair mobilization is a question of rotation. You're tired, you need to recover. You go to recover, and instead of you comes another person, a professional who has undergone appropriate training. And the mobilization depends on this," the president said.

Zelenskyy added that a certain number of people are needed for the country's defense and another for the counteroffensive. "So the issue of mobilization is a complex matter," he explained.

Ukraine will surprise Russia with drones

Zelenskyy spoke about the development of domestic drone production and radio-electronic systems. According to him, Ukraine has something "to surprise Russia on the battlefield this year.

"We have begun developing drone production. We will surprise them (Russian troops - Ed.) this year with drone systems and EW systems, both positively for us and negatively for the Russian Federation. These are our domestic technologies," he said.

But the president added, "This is a parallel path while we await assistance from our partners."

About Trump

When asked about the US presidential candidate Donald Trump, Zelenskyy replied that he had invited him to Ukraine more than once to see what the war looks like.

"If Mr. Trump comes, I'm ready to go with him to the frontline. If we are in dialogue on how to finish the war, we have to demonstrate to decision-makers what it means a real war. Not on Instagram," the president emphasized.

Ukraine's NATO accession

Zelenskyy also commented on the situation with Ukraine's accession to NATO. He thanked the alliance for important decisions made at the Vilnius Summit last year, which pushed Ukraine towards Euro-Atlantic integration.

However, the Ukrainian president refused to comment on the terms of Ukraine's accession to NATO, stating that this question should be addressed to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.