Russia is likely to increase military pressure on Ukraine ahead of their staged presidential elections, Czech President Petr Pavel said at a town hall summit, according to a report by Czech news outlet Českej noviny on Jan. 23.

“Even if President Vladimir Putin cannot be expected to have a serious rival in the election who can challenge him, he also needs to demonstrate to voters his determination and the result that will bring more losses to Ukraine,” Pavel said.

Read also: Without Western support, Russian army would be in Uzhhorod — Czech Defense Minister

Czech President Petr Pavel stated that the war in  Ukraine should be viewed realistically and that Russia is not a weak enemy, meaning that Ukraine will need consistent international support.

“Russia behaves aggressively and ignorantly,” the Czech president explained.

“We have to try to get Ukraine to play a better game and maintain the support of the democratic world if possible.”

He added that stopping aid to Ukraine will not end the war.

Pavel had previously forecasted changes on the battlefield between Ukraine and Russia in 2024, which would be connected to upcoming presidential elections in the United States and a staged event in Russia, in an interview for Czech news outlet Seznam Správy on Dec. 18.

Read also: Russia could rebuild its military in 5-7 years — Czech President

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