President Zelensky Says Ukraine Requires Additional Time For Counter-Offensive
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine requires additional time for counter-offensive against Russian forces. This is due to the military's expectation of receiving aid that has been promised to them.
The planned attack is expected to be a significant event in the war, as it will redraw frontlines that have remained unchanged for months. Additionally, it will be a vital test for Ukraine, as they wish to demonstrate that the weapons and equipment provided to them by the West can result in significant battlefield gains.
President Zelensky spoke at his headquarters in Kyiv, stating that combat brigades, some of which were trained by Nato countries, are "ready." However, he said that the army still needs "some things," including armored vehicles that are "arriving in batches."
We can move forward with what we already have and be successful. But we would lose a lot of people, which is unacceptable. So we need to wait. We still need a bit more time.
- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky
The timing and location of the Ukrainian offensive remain a secret, while Russian forces have fortified their defenses along a 900-mile (1,450km) frontline that runs from the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk to Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south.
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Ukraine needs more time for Russia counter-offensive says Zelensky - BBC News
Ukrainian authorities have attempted to lower expectations of a breakthrough publicly and privately. Earlier this month, a senior government official, speaking anonymously, stated that the country's leaders "understood that they needed to be successful." Still, the assault should not be seen as a "silver bullet" in a war that has been ongoing for 15 months.
Despite the risks of a "frozen conflict," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed confidence that the military could advance, emphasizing that Russia was hoping for such an outcome. He noted that any disappointing results in the West could lead to a reduction in military support and pressure to negotiate with Russia, which may include discussing land concessions.
President Zelensky dismissed concerns about losing US support if President Joe Biden is not re-elected in 2024, stating that Ukraine still enjoyed bipartisan support in the US Congress. He believed that Ukraine would win by then, and thus, the election result would not be a problem.
For now, neither side is willing to engage in talks to end the conflict, with both sides committed to fighting until victory. President Zelensky has put forward a ten-point peace proposal, including the return of all invaded territory, reparations for war-related damages, and the establishment of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes. However, Moscow has rejected this plan outright.
The president noted that Western sanctions were having an impact on Russia's defense industry, causing depleted missile stockpiles and shortages of artillery. However, Moscow had found ways to bypass some of the measures, and he urged countries to target those assisting Russia in circumventing the bans.
President Zelensky denied the Russian allegation that Ukraine was responsible for a drone attack on the Kremlin last week, which Moscow described as an attempt to assassinate President Putin.
President Zelensky suggested that the recent drone attack on the Kremlin, which Russia claimed was an attempt on Putin's life, could have been a false flag operation carried out by Russia itself. He said that Russia was using the claim as an "excuse" to attack Ukraine.
According to the Ukrainian leader, Russia constantly looks for justifications for its actions, but even their own propagandists didn't believe the claim. He made these comments during the Eurovision song contest, which was hosted by the English city of Liverpool on behalf of Ukraine.
This expected counter-offensive, if successful, could potentially redraw the frontlines that have remained unchanged for months. However, the Ukrainian military is still awaiting the delivery of promised aid, including armored vehicles, before they can proceed with the offensive.