Former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko

The former Ukrainian president, who was poisoned by Russians in 2004, said Wednesday Russia was already defeated but Ukraine had not necessarily won the war. Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s third President, made remarks on his country’s Independence Day and, ironically, half a year into the current war with Russia.

Yushchenko said Ukraine “already gave warmth” to Russia and President Vladimir Putin. Yushchenko also said his country showed the world that it can fight and that it will not back down.

“The last three days full of events from Yanka to all airports reached by Ukrainian partisans give a lot of hope,” Yushchenko told Ukrainian media Pravda. “Everything indicates that we are in a situation in which Putin has already lost, of course. But we haven’t won yet.”

Wednesday marks the six-month mark for Russia’s war of aggression. Russia began building up troops along Ukraine’s northern and western borders in late January and began attacking Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Since then there have been heavy casualties on both sides. This includes Ukrainian civilians, foreign fighters, Ukrainian military and more than 45,000 Russians.

Russia could not overtake Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa, but they occupied many regions in the eastern part of Ukraine. Russia has occupied most of the Donbas region, which includes Luhansk, Severodonetsk, Donetsk and Mariupol. They occupied the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

Russia has also occupied the major southern cities of Kherson and Melitopol, and is slowly moving towards Odessa and the southwestern Transnistrian region near the Moldovan border.

Wednesday was also Ukraine’s Independence Day. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian missiles hit the Chaplyne railway station in the Dnepropetrovsk region. Zelenskyi said the blasts killed at least 22 people and injured nearly 50 others. Those numbers could rise as first responders continue to dig through the rubble.

Vladimir Putin walks with Defense Minister
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) attend the opening ceremony of the International Military Technical Forum “Army 2022” in Kubinka, outside Moscow, Russia, August 15, 2022. Putin on Monday welcomed the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine, which have triggered the massive Western sanctions, and thanked Moscow’s allies for their support.
Photo by Contributor/Getty Images

Zelenskyy spoke during a session of the UN Security Council.

“The rescuers are working. But unfortunately the number of dead can increase,” said Zelenskyy. “This is how we live every day. This is how Russia prepared for this UN Security Council meeting.”

Zelensky went on to emphasize the destruction of Chaplyna.

“Chaplyna is our pain today. Up to this minute 22 people have died, five of them burned in the car, a teenager died, he was 11 years old, a Russian missile destroyed his house. Continue search and rescue operations at the train station. We will definitely hold the occupiers accountable for everything they have done. And we will definitely drive the invaders out of our land.”

Yushchenko was running against a pro-Russian candidate for President of Ukraine in 2004 when he was poisoned by Russians. Yushchenko was the country’s head of state from 2005 to 2010. Former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko

Rick Schindler

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