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Outcome of Ukraine-Russia war could be determined in next ‘week or two’, says Ukrainian official


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An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told a briefing on Sunday that the next “week or two” could determine the outcome of the Russian-Ukrainian war, according to a report.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych described the significance of the ongoing struggle for the port city of Mariupol, saying its salvation or fall could determine the eventual outcome of the war, Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform reported.

Russia’s lack of a quick victory, international condemnation and economic sanctions, and the devastation and civilian casualties across Ukraine brought the two countries to the negotiating table, but the fighting – including a critical struggle for Mariupol – are continuing.

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The city could stand, or potentially fall, and the outcome of the war could then follow quickly, Arestovitch said, according to Ukrinform.

“The next week or two will be uneven,” he added. “There will be reports that we are winning, counterattacking and pushing back in some areas. We are liberating our lands from the enemy.”

Firefighters work at a fire site, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine March 16, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Lapshyn
(REUTERS/Oleksandr Lapshyn)

“However, there will also be reports that in some parts of the front, especially in the east, the situation is complicated. You have to be emotionally, organizationally and consciously ready for this,” the adviser added.

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If Ukrainian forces repel the Russian army from eastern Ukraine and succeed in defending Mariupol, they could have an advantage in negotiation efforts – or they could use the strategic city to ultimately emerge victorious from the war, said speculated the adviser.

If Russia encircles and is able to “finish off” Mariupol, it will have a direct line between the Russian mainland and the Crimean Peninsula, in which Russian forces could be replenished and reinforced more quickly, Arestovich said, according to the report.

Outcome of Ukraine-Russia war could be determined in next ‘week or two’, says Ukrainian official

A dog is seen in the middle of a street as Ukrainian army soldiers take part in a military search for possible remnants of Russian troops after they withdrew from villages on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday 1st April 2022.
((AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd))

“They understand that,” the adviser said, speaking of the two countries. “On the one hand, it gives us hope in the Kyiv region, Chernihiv, the Sumy region, the Kharkiv region that we will get rid of the enemy there, we will push him back from there. Secondly , this means a possible deterioration or a sharp deterioration of the situation around Mariupol and in the JFO area.”

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After Russian military troops invaded Ukraine nearly 40 days ago, the might of the military has repeatedly been blocked by Ukraine’s military determination and will to save its homeland, which has resulted in a slowed attack and heavy losses for Russia.

Outcome of Ukraine-Russia war could be determined in next ‘week or two’, says Ukrainian official

A photo illustration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (left) next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(UKRINFORM/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images | getty)

Across the country, in northern Ukraine, the Ukrainian army is slowly retaking territories, but troops have been forced to move cautiously through these areas as the Russian army has left mines and other devices before evacuating them, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his late night speech.

The situation is “catastrophic”, Zelenskyy said, as mines have been discovered around civilian homes and abandoned equipment.

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The military is also reluctant to clean up human remains because “even the bodies of those killed” may have been trapped by Russian forces, the president added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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