ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Ukrainian president says counteroffensive won’t aim to attack Russian territory

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a media conference at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a media conference at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Sunday that his country is preparing a counteroffensive designed to liberate areas occupied by Russia, not to attack Russian territory.

Speaking during a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Zelensky says Ukraine’s goal is to free the territories within its internationally recognized borders.

There has been speculation that Ukraine might try to capture areas in Russia proper and use them as bargaining chips in possible peace negotiations to end the war launched by Moscow in February 2022.

Pressed by reporters on the issue, Zelensky says: “We don’t attack Russian territory, we liberate our own legitimate territory.”

“We have neither the time nor the strength [to attack Russia],” he says, according to an official interpreter. “And we also don’t have weapons to spare with which we could do this.”

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