Zelensky: We Don’t Have a Lot of Time

The Ukrainian leader said his country was losing too many soldiers and civilians

Speaking to journalists in Brussels on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned “We don’t have much time. We have a lot of injured, killed, both military and civilians. So we do not want this war to last for years. Therefore, we have to prepare this plan and put it on the table at the second peace summit.”

Zelensky stressed the need for a peace process that would bring an end to the war with Russia, citing Ukraine’s mounting casualties.

Since 2022, Zelensky has pushed a 10-point peace plan that would see Russia withdraw from all of Ukraine’s pre-2014 territory. The Kremlin has outright rejected that proposal, insisting it will not give up several formerly Ukrainian regions it has annexed. Still, Zelensky proposed his formula to other world leaders at a peace summit that was held in Switzerland earlier this month, although no Russian officials were invited.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has articulated a potential peace deal that would see Ukraine agree to denuclearization, neutrality toward NATO, and recognition of territory annexed by Moscow since 2014.

As the war has progressed, the West has struggled to maintain the flow of weapons to Kiev, and Ukraine has been unable to replace its battlefield casualties with newly trained soldiers. The Kremlin has adjusted to a wartime economy and has a larger number of young men to serve in the military, giving Moscow a distinct advantage as the conflict has become a war of attrition.

While Kiev and Moscow have been tight-lipped about their own causality figures, estimates for both sides range in the hundreds of thousands. To fill its ranks, Ukraine has recently expanded its conscription laws and cracked down on those seeking to avoid the draft. The ex-head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko, estimated the number of dead or seriously wounded Ukrainian soldiers was over 500,000 in January.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.