Zelenskyy Vows Strikes on Russian Refineries to Protect Ukraine

Ukraine's President takes a bold stand amid conflict

by Zain ul Abedin
Zelenskyy Vows Strikes on Russian Refineries to Protect Ukraine
© Chris McGrath/Getty Images

In a determined rebuttal to global criticisms of Ukraine's strategic drone strikes on Russian oil facilities, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy extends an invitation to his critics, urging them to witness the severe challenges faced by Ukrainians due to Russia's continued assaults.

During a media briefing alongside Finnish President Alexander Stubb, Zelenskyy addressed the backlash over Ukraine's precision targeting of Russian oil refineries and key military airbases, particularly those situated within Ukraine's territories currently under Russian control.

Expressing a thinly veiled frustration with the international community's response, Zelenskyy thanked the global organizations for their condemnations, albeit with a note of irony. "It seems our plight is often overshadowed, while our acts of self-defence are scrutinized," he remarked, underscoring the necessity of direct action against Russian aggression.

"The language of force is the only dialect Russia comprehends," Zelenskyy affirmed, signaling a disconnect between international reprimands and the effectiveness of such measures on Russia's military strategies. Echoing Zelenskyy's sentiments, Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna defended Ukraine's tactical choices, labeling Russian oil refineries as legitimate targets under NATO's operational standards.

Zelenskyy's Defiant Stance

Despite advisories from the United States cautioning Ukraine against engaging Russian energy infrastructure - prompted by concerns over potential global oil market disruptions and escalating hostilities - Zelenskyy stood firm on Ukraine's sovereign right to deploy domestically produced drones for such missions.

"The critique from our American allies regarding drone strikes does not curb our resolve, given these drones are of Ukrainian make," Zelenskyy stated, emphasizing Ukraine's independence in defense strategies. Highlighting the critical nature of international support, Zelenskyy cautioned against the dire consequences of waning aid, particularly the absence of advanced defense systems and artillery ammunition.

"Without the backing of the United States, our defensive posture weakens, necessitating a gradual retreat," he elaborated, stressing the importance of sustained assistance to maintain Ukraine's defensive momentum. Zelenskyy also advocated for enhanced missile capabilities to counteract Russian offenses from annexed territories, including Crimea, underlining the critical need for continued global support.