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September 11, 2023 Russia-Ukraine news

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Residents of Kyiv have been reacting to the warning from President Volodymyr Zelensky that the war against Russia may go on for some time yet.

“I have to be ready, my team has to be ready for the long war, and emotionally I am ready,” Zelensky told the Economist in an interview published Sunday.

Iryna Shpundra, a mother on maternity leave from Kyiv said she and her child had spent a year and a half abroad, but insisted that “Ukrainians are strong in spirit and ready for a long war, because we simply cannot stop it somehow and forget our guys who died or those who are now fighting for us.”

“If we leave things as they are now, we will just give our enemy time to prepare and invade again, but with even greater brutality,” Shpundra said. “As a mother of a small child, of course, I would want it to be over as soon as possible and not have our best people die, but the reality is different.”

Yuriy Teplenko, a pensioner and former university lecturer, told CNN: “The war will not end tomorrow, that’s for sure. I think it won’t even be over next year. And this is very bad, but on the other hand, the ceasefire is even worse.”

Referring to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Teplenko said: “We need to crush this bastard, otherwise we simply won’t have any life. There is no other option here. Objectively speaking, I want to believe that the war will end in victory for Ukraine, but anything can happen.”

A soldier with the call sign Red said he agreed with the president. “The offensive is going on, but at a slow pace, gradually our land is being liberated every day. There can be no such thing as an offensive along the entire front line at the same time, because this will lead to even greater losses.”

Red said he thought the “military are taking everything in stride, because we have no other choice. We cannot surrender and lose, because no one will agree to that. Personally, I am ready to fight until the very end, until they kill me or until we drive them off our land completely.”

Kyiv resident, Kateryna Polishchuk, said she understood ”that we should not expect any immediate success in this war. This war has not been going on for 8 or 10 years, it is a struggle that has been going on for 300 years.”

“I have stayed in Kyiv since the first day of the full-scale invasion, I was born here and have lived here all my life, I love my city and although it was scary, I stayed here,” she added.

“I never expected this war to end so quickly, at least given the size of the population of Russia and Ukraine. But in our hearts, of course, we expect victory and ask God for it,” Polishchuk said.

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