By Rostyslav Averchuk
Lviv, Ukraine, Dec 21 (EFE).- Ukrainians are looking forward to president Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the United States, his first trip abroad since Russia invaded his country in late February.
The visit comes as the fighting intensifies, with Russia repeatedly attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
“I hope that the world and the people in the US try to look at what is going on in Ukraine through the eyes of Ukrainians,” says Inna, who is visiting the western Ukrainian city of Lviv from Kamianets-Podilskyi with her two sons.
“Weapons are very important but wars are won by people. I hope they open their hearts to the suffering that Russia is inflicting on all of us,” she tells Efe.
Inna, whose husband is fighting in Donetsk, explains that the publicly available information is only a fraction of the devastation on the frontline.
“Bakhmut is scattered with parts and bits of what used to be living beings. Our soldiers are collecting them without even knowing whether these are the bodies of Ukrainians or Russians,” she adds, hoping Zelenskyy’s visit will be help end the conflict sooner.
Another Lviv resident, Vasyl was less optimistic, sayin: “Zelenskyy will try but I am afraid that we will still not get the full extent of support we need so much right now.”
“The US is doing a lot and we are grateful for it. But it is giving us weapons in a very metered way. We will win but in this way the war can last for years, destroying half the country and killing millions,” he adds.
Lviv residents and visitors tell Efe that they are trying to move on with their lives as much as possible, despite the regular air raid sirens in the city.
“It is great that the US and other countries are helping us. If they can, I hope they continue doing that and increase their support,” says Sergei.
Anastasia, meanwhile, says she trusts Zelenskyy and believes “that he knows what to do and will do everything possible during this visit.”
With Ukraine experiencing extended blackouts following Russia’s latest drone attacks this week, the war-torn country believes that now is the time to whip up as much support as possible.
Ukrainian military expert Sergiy Grabskyi explains to Efe that the fighting along the frontline is at a high intensity, adding that soldiers are in need of more weapons and equipment.
Mykola Bielieskov, a military analyst at Come back alive NGO, expects that modern western tanks will eventually arrive in Ukraine as “there is no substitute for them” in large-scale offensives.
Ukraine was “written off both in Moscow and D.C. Now @ZelenskyyUa comes to D.C. as a leader of a nation which buried a myth on (Russian) military proficiency,” he wrote on Twitter.EFE