War must end with Ukraine reaching its borders, we don’t consider other options – Syrskyi

Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi for ZDF channel. Photo: video screeshot (ZDF interview)

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi said that the Russian-Ukrainian war must end with Ukraine reaching its borders as other options are not considered.

He said this in an interview with the German TV channel ZDF.

“You know, when it’s not even a war – the war in our country started in 2014 – we are talking about open aggression,” Syrskyi said, when asked whether he knew at the beginning of the war that it would last so long. “When this aggression began, I had the feeling that I was going into some kind of abyss, which does not have any clear timeframe. It is clear that this is a big problem for us. Back then, it was not clear at all when this all would end. But it was clear to me that it will be long and it will be difficult.”

When asked why he is so hopeful that Ukraine will be able to end this war soon, he replied: “This is based on the fact that we must end it reaching our borders. This is the first thing. Because other options are not considered. Because we simply have no other way out. And this means that everyone, the whole society must rally around the common cause – victory.”

He stressed that in this case, “everyone needs to work hard […] we need to set up production right here, in Ukraine” and added that Ukraine remembers to rely on itself in the first place, despite the support from the allies.

“This process has been launched. It is necessary to increase production levels, because, first of all, we must rely on our own strength. Not only on partners, taking everything into account, but also on one’s own strength. And, of course, it is necessary to improve tactics.”

He also mentioned so-called “meat assaults” Russia is used to, assuring that Ukraine will not pursue such strategy and he will not allow losses which can be avoided.

For us, the main task and the main value is the life of our soldiers, officers, and combat units that directly perform combat tasks. We cannot afford the same attitude as the Russian bosses do, when they conduct the practice of ‘meat assaults.’ I will prefer [our soldiers] leave some position, but I will not allow the death of the entire personnel. And for them [the Russians], the value of a soldier’s life is virtually zero. And we see it. […] In general, losses are a very sensitive topic for everyone, for any country, any society,” Syrskyi elaborated on the issue.

On February 8, 2024, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appointed Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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