Volodymyr Zelensky made the statement in a video address to the nation on Tuesday night.
He said: “Russia is preparing for a new wave of aggression with the forces it can mobilise. The occupiers are already increasing pressure in the Bakhmut, Vuhledar and other directions."
Zelensky added: "And they want to increase pressure on a larger scale. In order not to recognize the mistake of aggression, the masters of Russia want to throw more of their people and equipment into the fighting.”
‘Free world must step up cooperation’
Zelensky urged: “This means that all of us in the free world must step up our cooperation to not only respond to Russia's regular crimes. Although this will happen, of course. There will be a response. But to prevent new Russian criminal actions as much as possible.”
He stressed: “Our forces must retain the initiative in the war.”
The Ukrainian president also called on allies to decide whether they would supply his country with modern tanks to help fight Russia’s invasion.
He said: “Discussions need to end with decisions. Decisions to really strengthen our defence against terrorists.”
Zelensky, who turns 45 on Wednesday, added: “Our allies have the necessary number of tanks. When the necessary weight of decisions is reached, we will be happy to express gratitude for every weighty decision.”
Tanks for Ukraine
Late on Tuesday, multiple news outlets reported that the German government had decided to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries such as Poland to do the same.
As Leopard 2 tanks are made in Germany, Berlin’s permission is required for their re-export, officials have said.
Some of Ukraine's allies, including Poland, Finland and Sweden, had urged Germany to allow them to support Kyiv with Leopard 2 tanks, according to officials.
Meanwhile, the United States was expected to announce a decision on Wednesday to send its Abrams tanks to Ukraine, according to news reports.
Another country considering the supply of German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine is Norway, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Norway, a NATO member that borders Russia, may contribute either four or eight of its 36 Leopard 2 tanks, according to officials.
Pentagon to increase artillery production for Ukraine
Meanwhile, the US Department of Defence plans to boost the production of artillery ammunition by 500 percent within two years to produce 90,000 shells a month, according to the Ukrainska Pravda website.
The Pentagon’s decision to expand its artillery output is "the clearest sign yet" that America plans to support Ukraine no matter how long the war continues, The New York Times reported on Tuesday night.
Wednesday is day 336 of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Source: PAP, president.gov.ua, The Guardian, Ukrainska Pravda, The New York Times