Zelenskiy: Ukraine, West can make Russia's defeat 'irreversible' this year

KYIV (Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that Kyiv and its Western supporters could make Russia's defeat in the war in Ukraine "irreversible" this year, as he thanked Germany for its military support.

The Ukrainian leader told a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin that Kyiv would always be grateful to Germany for its support during Russia's full-scale invasion.

"Now is the time for us to determine the end of the war already this year, we can make the aggressor's defeat irreversible already this year," he said.

Ukraine is expected to launch major counter-offensive operations in the coming weeks to try to recapture tracts of its east and south from Russian forces who launched a full-scale invasion in February last year.

Zelenskiy said Kyiv was prepared to discuss outside initiatives from other states to bring peace to his country but that those proposals should be based on Ukraine's position and its peace plan.

"The war is happening on the territory of our country and so any peace plan will be based on Ukraine's proposals," he said.

Kyiv has ruled out the idea of any territorial concessions to Russia and has said it wants every inch of its land back. Russia claims to have annexed the Crimean peninsula and four other Ukrainian regions, which Moscow now calls Russian land.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by David Goodman and Mike Harrison)