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Zelensky may call up 500,000 more troops while insisting US ‘will not let us down’ on added aid

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday that he could mobilize another 500,000 troops to replenish Kiev's forces against Russia, but on additional aid he said he was “confident that the United States will not let us down.” “I do,” he claimed.

President Zelenskiy, 45, asked the military to give a more detailed plan on the “very sensitive issue” of adding troops before fulfilling their wish to add more troops.

The leader said the plan would cost Ukraine $13.4 billion if it went ahead.

The United States has already provided tens of billions of dollars in cash and war equipment to Ukraine, and would provide an additional $61.4 billion under a bill currently stalled in Congress.

As of October, Ukraine had approximately 800,000 troops. Including the National Guard, that number rises to about 1 million.

Russia, which triggered a war by invading its neighbor in February 2022, added nearly 170,000 troops this month and now has about 1.32 million soldiers.

President Zelenskiy said the conflict could last until 2025, but “no one has an answer” about how to end it.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is considering a military request for up to 500,000 additional troops. Sergei Dolzhenko/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The leader said the plan would cost Ukraine $13.4 billion if it went ahead. Reuters

“We have thoughts and ideas, but ideas can be far from reality,” he said.

He was quick to praise his troops for keeping the front lines tight, even though Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces have been unable to capture much of Ukraine's territory.

President Zelenskiy also insisted that the financial aid promised by the United States “will be fulfilled,” adding that he was confident that the European Union would provide 50 billion euros, or about $55 billion.

“We are confident that the United States will not betray us and that the agreements reached in the United States will be fully implemented,” Zelenskiy said, according to the Ukrinform news agency.

Zelenskiy insisted that the aid pledged by the United States would be “fulfilled” and said he was confident the EU would provide 50 billion euros (about $55 billion). “I am confident that the United States will not betray us,” he said. He is confident that the EU will provide 50 billion euros (about $55 billion). Yuri Gripas – Pool via CNP/MEGA

“We have achieved a victory regarding the European Union,” he said, referring to the possibility of Ukraine joining the EU. “As for 50 billion euros, I am sure that we have already reached it. It is only a matter of time. I think the first 1.5 billion will be this week. And in the near future a decision will be taken about 50 billion. I am convinced that it is. [EU leaders] collect [for a summit]”

EU leaders are scheduled to hold a special summit in February to discuss the budget for 2024-2027.

Mr Zelensky's comments about US aid came a week after he visited the US to meet with President Biden and Republican senators, many of whom did not appear to support further aid.

The Ukrainian leader claimed that they “heard each other” during their visit to Washington, D.C.

with post wire