The first response from the Ukrainian president to Russia’s pledges to reduce its military operations in his country

Al-Marsad newspaper: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday evening that he does not believe Russia’s pledges to reduce its military operations in his country, indicating that his forces are preparing to fight new battles in the east of the country.

“We do not believe anyone, not even one beautiful phrase,” Zelensky said in a video message, noting that Russian forces are redeploying to attack the Donbass region in the east of the country.

He added, “We will not give up anything. We will fight for every inch of our land.”

Russia pledge

Moscow, which says it wants to focus on the Donbass region, where the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are located, has vowed to “drastically reduce its military activity in the direction of Kyiv and Chernihiv” in the north of the country.

On Wednesday evening, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that its forces would, from Thursday morning, observe a ceasefire in Mariupol, to make way for the evacuation of civilians from the besieged Ukrainian city.

In his video message, Zelensky said that any withdrawal carried out by Russian forces from any region of Ukraine is “the result of the work of our defenders”.

The Ukrainian president stressed that his country, which today has become the center of the global struggle for freedom, has the right to ask the international community to provide it with weapons, including tanks, planes and cannons.

“Freedom must be armed as tyranny is armed,” he said.