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War could be over by May: Ukraine

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A Ukrainian soldier walks past a school building destroyed by shelling in Zhytomyr, Ukraine on Sunday.

UKRAINE, RUSSIA: The war in Ukraine is likely to be over by early May when Russia runs out of resources to attack its neighbour, an adviser to the Ukrainian President’s Chief of Staff Oleksiy Arestovich said on Monday.

Talks between Kyiv and Moscow – in which Arestovich is not personally involved – have so far produced very few results other than several humanitarian corridors out of besieged Ukrainian cities.

In a video published by several Ukrainian media, Arestovich said the exact timing would depend on how much resources the Kremlin was willing to commit to the campaign.

“I think that no later than in May, early May, we should have a peace agreement, maybe much earlier, we will see, I am talking about the latest possible dates,” Arestovich said.

“We are at a fork in the road now: there will either be a peace deal struck very quickly, within a week or two, with troop withdrawal and everything, or there will be an attempt to scrape together some, say, Syrians for a round two and, when we grind them too, an agreement by mid-April or late April.”

A “completely crazy” scenario could also involve Russia sending fresh conscripts after a month of training, he said.

Still, even once peace is agreed, small tactical clashes could remain possible for a year, according to Arestovich, although Ukraine insists on the complete removal of Russian troops from its territory.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will deliver a virtual address to the US Congress as the Russian war on his country intensifies.

Zelenskyy will speak Wednesday to members of the House and Senate, the Democratic leaders announced. The event will be livestreamed for the public.

“It’s such a privilege to have this leader of this country, where these people are fighting for their democracy and our democracy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday during an event at the Brooklyn Bridge with New York lawmakers.

Meanwhile, The ongoing Russian war on Ukraine has become “nothing short of a nightmare” for those living in besieged cities, the Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross Robert Mardini said on Monday, calling for safe passage out for civilians and humanitarian aid to be allowed through the front lines.

There have been at least 31 attacks on medical facilities and ambulances in the war, killing at least 12 people and wounding 34 others, according to the World Health Organization.

“When we look at the devastation, when we look at how some neighbourhoods are looking like today, it is really frightening,” he said. “And it it tells a lot about a situation that is nothing short of a nightmare for people living there,” Mardini said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Russian troops to surrender in a video address posted online early on Tuesday.

“On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I give you a chance,” he said in a translation of his address shared by his office. “If you surrender to our forces, we will treat you the way people are supposed to be treated – as people, decently.”

In his address, Zelensky said Russia had already lost 90 warplanes and that Russian troops “did not expect such resistance”.


Wednesday, March 16, 2022 – 01:00

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