Ukrainian Zelensky mocks Putin saying Russian invasion will be planned

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has derided his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s claim that the invasion is going to be planned after his forces were forced to withdraw from the north of the country.

Mr Putin promised Russia’s bloody offensive in Ukraine would continue and insisted the campaign was going according to plan, despite heavy casualties in the face of stiff opposition.

The Kremlin chief claimed on Tuesday that his invasion was launched to “ensure Russia’s own security” and hinted that he “had no other choice”, saying it would “continue until its complete completion and the fulfillment of the tasks which have been set”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wondered how a war that cost so many lives could have happened

(EPA)

In an overnight address from Kyiv, Mr. Zelensky responded to the remarks by saying: “In Russia, it was again said that their so-called ‘special operation’ would go ahead as planned. But, to be honest, no one in the world understands how such a plan could have come about.

“How did a plan to kill tens of thousands of their own soldiers in just over a month of war come about? Who could approve such a plan?

Russian troops are turning their sights to the eastern region of Donbass after failing to take the capital, kyiv, which experts say was Mr Putin’s initial target.

Ukraine says the Russian death toll stands at 20,000, while Western allies say it’s likely closer to 15,000. Russia said in late March that fewer than 1,500 of its troops had died .

This map shows the extent of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

(Images from the Press Association)

Despite the ground advance stalling after nearly seven weeks of fighting, Zelensky said war watchers should not dismiss Russian troops as ineffective, or diminish the Ukrainian response to them.

“We must understand that not all Russian tanks are stuck in the fields, not all enemy soldiers are simply fleeing the battlefield, and not all are conscripts who cannot hold weapons properly,” he said. he declared.

“That doesn’t mean we should be afraid of them. This means that we must not diminish the achievements of our fighters, our army.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech on Tuesday in which he said the invasion would continue until all goals were achieved.

(Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukraine said it was investigating an allegation that a toxic substance was dropped on its troops. It was unclear what the possible substance was, but Western officials warned that the use of chemical weapons would be a serious escalation.

The alleged incident took place in the strategic southern port city of Mariupol, which has been under siege for weeks.

A Russian soldier patrols a street in Mariupol on April 12

(AFP via Getty Images)

Commenting on the unverified allegation, Mr. Zelensky said: “We take with great attention yesterday’s reports of the use of a projectile containing a toxic substance in Mariupol against the city’s defenders.

“It is not yet possible to draw 100% conclusions about the type of substance it is, it is obviously impossible to carry out a full investigation and analysis in the besieged city.

“However, given the repeated threats by Russian propagandists to use chemical weapons against Mariupol defenders and the Russian military’s repeated use of phosphorus munitions in Ukraine, for example, the world must respond now.

“Respond preventively. Because after the use of weapons of mass destruction, any answer will not change anything and it will only look like a humiliation for the democratic world.

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