Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday said he is hopeful his country can push back Russian forces, asserting that “Russia no chance of winning this war.”
In an address to his people, Zelensky urged Ukrainians to keep fighting, saying they would triumph over Russian missiles, strikes and forces.
“Strategically, Russia has no chance of winning this war. And it is necessary to hold on, so that even at the tactical levels, the terrorist state feels its defeat,” the president said. “No matter what happens and no matter what the occupiers’ plans are, we must do our job, protect our state and take care of each other.
“The more effective we are in this — all of us, all citizens of Ukraine — the faster we will achieve victory,” he added.
Russia invaded its neighbor more than five months ago, with tens of thousands of lives likely lost on both sides and neither nation appearing close to victory.
Some experts have said a stalemate is the most likely outcome in the war, because Russia is larger and has more resources and even if it cannot win, it can prevent Ukraine from winning.
James Dubik, a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of War, estimated in an opinion piece for The Hill on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was taking heavy losses and could not keep it up.
“The Ukrainian people know what’s at stake: their right to a political and economic life of their choosing. Further, Putin’s vision and aggression have generated opposition around the world,” Dubik wrote. “Whereas he sought to weaken NATO, it has strengthened and will grow. Where he wanted to show democracy’s weakness, he provoked unity and strength. Grand strategically, he may have lost already. “
Russian forces were pushed out of the capital region of Kyiv over the spring, but they have since regrouped for an offensive in the eastern region of Ukraine, where they have steadily seized key cities and territories.
Last month, Russia said it won full control over the Luhansk region, which is part of the Donbas in the east, after capturing several cities, including Severodonetsk.
Heavy fighting continues throughout the Donbas and the Donetsk region, while Ukrainian forces are actively trying to reclaim lost territory.