Zelensky says war with Russia in new phase as winter looms

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says the war with Russia is in a new stage, with winter expected to complicate fighting after a summer counteroffensive that failed to produce desired results due to enduring shortages of weapons and ground forces.

Despite setbacks, however, he said Ukraine won't give up.

"We have a new phase of war, and that is a fact," Zelensky said in an exclusive interview Thursday with The Associated Press in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine after a morale-boosting tour of the region. "Winter as a whole is a new phase of war."

Asked if he was satisfied by the results of the counteroffensive, he gave a complex answer.

"Look, we are not backing down, I am satisfied. We are fighting with the second [best] army in the world, I am satisfied," he said, referring to the Russian military. But he added: "We are losing people, I'm not satisfied. We didn't get all the weapons we wanted, I can't be satisfied, but I also can't complain too much."

Zelensky also said he fears the Israel-Hamas war threatens to overshadow the conflict in Ukraine, as competing political agendas and limited resources put the flow of Western military aid to Kiev at risk.

And those concerns are amplified by the tumult that inevitably arises during a U.S. election year and its potential implications for his country, which has seen the international community largely rally around it following Russia's Feb. 24, 2022, invasion.

The highly anticipated counteroffensive, powered by tens of billions of dollars in Western military aid, including heavy weaponry, did not forge the expected breakthroughs. Now, some Ukrainian officials worry whether further assistance will be as generous.

At the same time, ammunition stockpiles are...

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