“I hope soon relatives and the whole of Ukraine will be able to bury their soldiers with honors,” Prokopenko said in a video posted on Telegram.
Despite some battlefield successes, the growing war of attrition has exacted a grievous toll on Ukraine’s civilians and infrastructure, with people killed or maimed, houses pulverized and power cut off in hard-hit communities.
In a Friday night video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Western allies to hold Russia financially responsible for the devastation it was wreaking across his country.
“Every burned house. Every ruined school, ruined hospital,” he said. “Each blown-up house of culture and infrastructure facility. Every destroyed enterprise. Every shut-down business.”
Russian funds and property under the jurisdiction of allied countries, Zelenskyy said, must be “seized or frozen” and then distributed to a special fund for Ukrainian victims
“That would be fair,” he said. “And Russia will feel the true weight of every missile, every bomb, every projectile it has fired at us.”
To bolster Ukraine’s defense, the U.S. Senate approved $40 billion in new aid on Thursday, sending the package to President Joe Biden for his promised signature. In addition, Germany’s finance minister said Friday that the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations would allocate $19.8 billion in aid as part of what the G-7 declared was its commitment “to our united response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and to our unwavering support to Ukraine.”
Western military and humanitarian assistance have been crucial to Ukraine’s ability to defy an enemy whose military might, both in personnel and weaponry, dwarfs its own.
“This is a demonstration of strong leadership and a necessary contribution to our common defense of freedom,” Zelenskyy said of the new U.S. pledge.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused Western countries of mounting a “serious,” though ultimately unsuccessful, campaign of cyberattacks against his country.