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“Our Army Could Reach Russia to Defend Ukraine” – NSDC Secretary Danilov . Ukraine is entering 2023 in a state of war. However, the National Security and Defense Council claims that the country is holding the entire frontline and that Russia will definitely collapse.

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According to Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), February and March were the hardest months when Ukraine’s fate hinged on making the right decisions and proper actions. He remembers the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion when the situation was very complicated, but he had no fear. It became a little easier in April, after the Ukrainian army repelled the Russians from Kyiv and kicked them out of Kyiv Region.

"Our Army Could Reach Russia to Defend Ukraine" – NSDC Secretary Danilov

Danilov notes that the Kremlin is still determined to take Kyiv and trying to persuade Aliaksandr Lukashenka, the self-proclaimed president of Belarus, to join the Russian forces in the war against Ukraine. The latter is still reluctant as he is aware of the inevitable consequences.

The same can be said of Iran, whose ballistic missiles Russia wants to receive in order to replenish its badly depleted missile arsenal.

Kyiv Post asked Danilov what is in store for the Kremlin under the circumstances, whether China is helping Russia and whether Moscow has managed to circumvent sanctions to enable it to manufacture weapons.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valeriy Zaluzhny, recently warned that Russia is gearing up for a new offensive on Kyiv. What is happening on the northern front?


READ: Zelensky’s Annual Address to Parliament

Ukraine’s President talked about security guarantees for Ukraine and reforming existing international organizations.

We are preparing for any developments.

Each section of the frontline is important and none is left without attention and control of the General Staff.

We know what is happening in the temporarily-occupied territories of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk Regions, and Belarus.

Do you see any activity in Belarus?

Activity started back on Feb. 24 and hasn’t stopped anywhere. Russia continues to rape Belarus.

It’s hard to say if the Belarusians will go to fight against our people, because it depends on many factors that we don’t have influence over.

But we know for sure that the Belarusians don’t want to fight against us. We’ve never done anything bad to them.

Should people evacuate from Kyiv Region because of a possible new offensive from Belarus?

It’s a matter of personal choice.

The people can make their own decisions, receiving the colossal amount of information from TV, radio, social networks and other sources. In Ukraine, unlike Russia, all information is freely accessible.

At the moment, I can’t take on the responsibility and tell people to evacuate or stay. It’s up to them to decide individually.

But in the event of a real threat the authorities will provide all the necessary information and will react in the proper manner.

Today Russia doesn’t get substantial, powerful support from China.

What do you know about the recent meetings between Lukashenka and Putin? How much did they mention Ukraine and how did Lukashenka respond to the Kremlin’s urge for Belarus to join the war?

This wasn’t the first time that Putin tried to drag Lukashenka into the bloody meatgrinder.

I say once again: Lukashenka understands that if he goes for it, he is finished, and very soon too. No-one in Ukraine, Belarus or elsewhere in the world will forgive him.

I can say that Belarus and Russia have entirely different visions. They are different nations, even though Russia says they are fraternal.

READ: Zelensky’s Annual Address to Parliament

Ukraine’s President talked about security guarantees for Ukraine and reforming existing international organizations.

I don’t know what he gave or didn’t give. We look at actions.

What do they show?

The actions show that there’s no final agreement yet. But it doesn’t mean Putin won’t keep trying to pressure Lukashenka.

Some residents of Kyiv Region who were under Russian occupation in the spring say that after Feb. 24 they saw Belarusian soldiers together with Russians. Besides, Belarus provides its territory to Russia for missile strikes on Ukraine and the deployment of Russian troops, weapons and equipment. Why do we continue to say that Minsk hasn’t officially entered the war yet?

Because we know what we say. When you say that someone saw some Belarusians there, I can just as well say that someone saw aliens.

There were no people in Belarusian military uniform. If they had been there, then there would have been photos.

I have been in Kyiv since Feb. 24. In the first two weeks I got huge volumes of information from a great number of people that helped us, but there wasn’t a single case of any Belarusian military presence.

Belarus is occupied by the Russian Federation. The Russian military behave there as though they are in their own backyard. When, God forbid, Minsk decides to start military action, we will react.

In which frontline sections, apart from Bakhmut, can Russian forces step up operations?

In all of them.

We have the frontline, and the enemy’s forces can act this or that way in any of its sections. We need to hold the line along the entire front.

What do you know about Russian armaments? Do they continue to manufacture weapons and missiles or are they unable to do this because sanctions leave them without components?

They are unable to manufacture precision weapons and they are running out of missiles. They only have sufficient amounts of missiles for S-300 launchers, but those missiles are not long-range ones.

That’s why Russia is holding talks with Iran on supplies of missiles. At the moment, Russia hasn’t received any, but as soon as it does, we’ll know about it