Zelensky Blames ‘the World’ for Russia’s Kharkiv Offensive

Zelensky is blaming Russia's success on weapons shortages, while Ukrainian soldiers have said there weren't proper fortifications

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv oblast on Thursday and blamed the Russian offensive in the region on “the world” for not sending enough weapons.

He referred to the delays in Congress passing a $61 billion Ukraine aid package, which was authorized last month. “Brigades are not totally equipped because of the package, which we waited through for eight months,” he told ABC News.

When asked if what’s happening in Kharkiv is America’s fault, Zelensky replied, “It’s the world’s fault. They gave the opportunity for Putin to occupy. But now the world can help.”

Military situation in Kharkiv on May 16, 2024 (SouthFront.org)

Zelensky claimed if he just had two more US-made Patriot air defense systems, Ukrainian forces would be able to hold the region. “All we need are two Patriot systems. Russia will not be able to occupy Kharkiv if we have those,” he said.

While Zelensky blamed the Russian success on weapons shortages, Ukrainian soldiers have said there were no proper fortifications despite intelligence that showed Russia was amassing troops on the border of Kharkiv.

“There was no first line of defense. We saw it. The Russians just walked in. They just walked in, without any mined field,” Denys Yaroslavskyi, a commander of a Ukrainian Special Reconnaissance Unit, said earlier this week. “Either it was an act of negligence, or corruption. It wasn’t a failure. It was a betrayal.”

Martina Boguslavets, a Ukrainian anti-corruption activist, wrote in Ukrainska Pravda that much of the money that was meant to be spent on building fortifications in Kharkiv was likely stolen through shell companies.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.