Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday warned that Russia is preparing a “new wave of aggression” with its forces to increase pressure on Ukraine, adding that the international community must step up its response to Moscow’s aggression.
He said in an address to the Ukrainian people that the “free world” needs to increase its cooperation to respond to the “regular crimes” that Russia is committing in the war and prevent any new Russian crimes from happening.
“Our forces must retain the initiative in the war,” he said.
Zelensky’s warning comes as Germany has agreed to send tanks to Ukraine to help with its defense, announcing on Wednesday that it will send 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks and approve other countries’ requests to send them.
Germany had been hesitant to send the German-made tanks to Ukraine for weeks despite pressure from Western allies. The German government needed to approve sending the tanks to a country outside NATO before they could be delivered.
The Biden administration also appears to be set to approve sending M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, reversing itself following calls from members of both parties to send the tanks. The tanks likely would not arrive in Ukraine for months, but details are still being reviewed.
Zelensky said in his Tuesday address, which came ahead of Germany’s announcement, that Ukraine’s allies have the necessary number of tanks needed to increase the country’s defenses against Russia.
“But it is important to see the reality: it is not about five, or ten, or fifteen tanks. The need is greater. Every day we are doing everything necessary to fill the deficit. And I am grateful to everyone who supports us in this,” he said.
“However, discussions need to end with decisions,” Zelensky continued.
The war between Russia and Ukraine reached the 11-month mark on Tuesday.