“It’s very difficult to hold on for five months,” Zelenska told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “We need to accumulate our strength, we need to save our energy.”
“We cannot see the end of our suffering,” she said.
Russian forces have eliminated most Ukrainian defenses in the Luhansk region and consolidated control of a belt of territory in the south. Luhansk and neighboring Donetsk together make up Ukraine’s Donbas region, an industrial heartland dotted with factories and coal fields that has been home to sporadic fighting since 2014, when Russian-backed separatists seized control of two territories — the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.