Macron Warns Russia-Ukraine War 'Will Last' as Ukrainian Forces Resist Invasion

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could "last" for some time and the invasion will have serious consequences.

Macron blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the conflict in remarks at an agriculture fair in Paris on Saturday and said the world needed to be prepared for the war's ramifications.

The French president's comments come as Ukrainian forces have been mounting strong resistance to the Russian advance, and Ukraine's President Voldoymyr Zelenskyy pledged to defend his country.

"If can tell you one thing this morning it is that this war will last," Macron said.

"This crisis will last, this war will last and all the crises that come with it will have lasting consequences," he said. "We must be prepared."

Macron went on: "War has returned to Europe, this was chosen unilaterally by President Putin, with a tragic humanitarian situation, a people who are resisting and a Europe that is there and resisting by the side of the Ukrainian people."

Macron's comments come after U.K. armed services minister James Heappey praised Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion.

"The Ukrainian resistance to the Russian advance appears extraordinary," Heappey told BBC Radio 4 on Saturday morning.

"All of Russia's day one objectives of Kharkiv, Kherson , Mariupol, Sumy and even Melitopol, which the Russians are claiming to have taken but we can't see anything on that, are still all in Ukrainian hands," he said.

Heappey said that armored columns on the way to encircle Kyiv "have been held off by this incredible Ukrainian resistance."

The minister later suggested the conflict could go on for months.

"Nobody should think that this is anywhere near over. What stands in front of Ukraine, its armed forces and, very tragically, its people is days, weeks, months more of what we have seen over that last 48 hours," Heappey said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Friday that Ukrainian resistance to Russia could be even stronger than the opposition the Soviet Union encountered in Afghanistan during the 1979-1989 Soviet-Afghan War.

"The Ukrainian resistance, I think, will make the Afghan resistance to Russian intervention look tame," Schumer said. "These are proud people ... there is going to be fierce resistance. Putin will come to regret this ... He's a bully. He's a thug. He has a monomaniacal desire to restore the Soviet Empire, but he will ultimately fail."

In a video shared to Twitter on Saturday, Zelenskyy pledged to defend Ukraine.

"There's a lot of fake information online that I call on our army to lay down arms, and that there's evacuation. I'm here. We won't lay down our arms. We will defend our state," the Ukrainian president said.

Russia's war with Georgia in 2008 lasted for five days, while Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine relatively quickly in 2014. Pro-Russian armed men seized Crimea's parliament and key buildings on February 27, 2014 and the territory was formally annexed on March 18.

Emmanuel Macron Speaks at a Press Conference
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a press conference at the end of a special meeting of the European Council in light of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, in Brussels, Belgium, on February 25, 2022. Macron has warned the war in Ukraine will have major consequences. OLIVIER HOSLET/POOL/AFP/Getty Images