“Ukraine and Europe can survive this winter of discontent” – Volodymyr Zelenskyy

10 September 2022

Ukraine and Europe will face the most difficult winter in history, which will define the future existence of the entire free world, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at the 17th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting, «Ukraine: Defending All Our Freedom», organised by YES in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

“I have no doubt that Ukraine and Europe can survive this winter without Russian energy resources. However, to make it happen we have to avert all Russian acts of provocations: military, political, and misinformation,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy predicted that the next 90 days will be decisive both for Ukraine to win the war, and for the future of the free world.

“The next 90 days will become a trial in the fight for victory. It will be a trial for our resilience and unity, for our ability to protect ourselves, our freedom and our shared fundamental values. Russia will do everything to break Ukraine’s resistance during these 90 days. They will try to break Europe and the world in this effort by using the threat of energy insecurity. This is Russia’s last argument. The last one, I am confident about it. We must not be broken, disjointed, disconnected – we must hold our line.” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy said he believed a way out of this situation is to defuse Russian influence in the West.

“It is possible to protect ourselves against this crisis by countering Russian influence on European and global populations, on international markets, on the global media environment. During the autumn it is important to toughen sanctions against Russia, against its officials, banks and companies, as much as possible. It is necessary to agree on mechanisms to really cut Russia’s export revenues, to seize Russian assets. The maximum visa restrictions are needed to push Russians towards a visible anti-war movement,” Zelenskyy said.

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John Tefft
John Tefft
Ambassador to Ukraine (2009-2013), 15th YES Annual Meeting, 2018
«Russia still has to become a modern nation. It still hasn’t made the fundamental decisions to determine whether it’s going to be a part of the international community or whether it’s going to try to be an imperial power and attack its neighbors, and take their land.»