Zelenskyy claims Russian advance in Ukraine 'halted'

AFP , Monday 11 Mar 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday that Russian advances had been "halted" in Ukraine and the situation was now "much better" for his troops than in recent months.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during his end-of-the-year news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine. AP


"The Russian advance has been halted," Zelenskyy told French broadcaster BFM TV.

"Our command, our military has stopped the Russian advance in eastern Ukraine," he said.

Kyiv has faced mounting pressure on the front line in recent months, losing ground to Moscow amid hold-ups to Western aid from its biggest ally Washington.

Zelenskyy said Monday: "I can give you this fresh piece of information: The situation is now much better than during these past three months."

The Ukrainian leader also said that Ukraine was in the process of building "over 1,000 kilometers (621 miles)" of fortifications.

"When we talk about fortifications, we're talking about an ongoing process," he said. "We're not talking about a few kilometers, or hundreds of kilometers, but more than 1,000 kilometers of construction," he said.

"It's a very complex task. They must be solid and resistant to changes in the climate (...) but also resistant to whatever military hardware is used against these defensive lines," he said.

About a comment by French President Emmanuel Macron, who last month said that sending French troops to Ukraine was not ruled out, Zelenskyy said: "As long as Ukraine holds, the French army can stay on French territory".

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