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As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit the five-month mark on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pledged to continue inflicting “the greatest possible losses on the enemy.”
“Even the occupiers admit we will win,” Zelenskyy said in a video address on Sunday. “We hear it in their conversations — all the time, in what they tell their loved ones when they contact them.”
Ukraine will celebrate the Day of Ukrainian Statehood on Thursday, a new national holiday that was decreed by Zelenskyy last August.
“This decision will help emphasize the continuity of more than a thousand years of Ukrainian statehood. It will be a factor in resisting Russia’s hostile narratives of Ukraine as a ‘fake state,'” Ruslan Stefanchuk, the chairman of Ukraine’s parliament, said last month about the holiday. “We must win back every inch of our history.”
Hopes for renewed peace talks between the two countries appeared to falter when Russia struck the Ukrainian port of Odesa on Saturday with cruise missiles.
Russia claimed that the strike only targeted military targets, but Zelenskyy said it “destroyed the very possibility” of dialogue with Russia.
The countries had just signed a grain-shipment agreement that called for a ceasefire around vessels and port cities involved in the initiative, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by the Associated Press.
Fighting has coalesced in recent months around the eastern Donbas. Russia claimed victory in the Luhansk region and is waging an offensive in the other province that makes up the Donbas, the Donetsk region.
A senior U.S. defense official told Fox News this week that the Kremlin has already committed 85% of its fighting force in Ukraine.
“They can’t keep it up forever,” the official said, noting that the Russian chain of command is struggling due to the loss of captains, colonels and generals in their ranks. “They have expended a lot of smarter munitions. Their capabilities are getting dumber.”