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Zelensky expects ‘successful’ counteroffensive

Recent media reports have said that the US was worried the Ukrainian push could fail to deliver the desired results

Kiev’s forces will seize Russia’s newly incorporated territories and also Crimea, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with several Nordic media outlets on Friday.

He was responding to a question about the much-discussed plans for a counteroffensive.

“A counteroffensive will happen. We are preparing for it,” Zelensky said. “I strongly believe that it will be successful and that we will de-occupy our territories.” 


“We will go forward … there cannot be any questions about that,” the president said. However, he reiterated that the ultimate outcome would depend on the deliveries of foreign arms. “For example, there is a risk that we will not have enough armored vehicles,” Zelensky said.

The president’s words came after Politico magazine reported on Monday that the White House was worried that the much-hyped operation could fall short of expectations. The New York Times, meanwhile, said that Western support for Kiev could weaken, and that Ukraine could come under pressure to resume negotiations with Russia if the offensive does not bring “a decisive victory.” 

Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov said on Friday that the troops were broadly ready for a push against the Russians. However, the same day, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba urged not to put too much stake in the planned operation. “You should not view the counteroffensive as a decisive battle,” he said.

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FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov.
Ukrainian troops ‘generally ready’ for counteroffensive – minister

According to the recently leaked Pentagon files, Western countries have been training and equipping nine Ukrainian brigades, while three more bridges were being mustered “internally.” NATO members pledged Challenger 2 and Leopard 2 heavy tanks for Kiev earlier this year that are expected to participate in the offensive operations.

Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia in the wake of the Western-backed 2014 coup in Kiev. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, together with Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, did the same after holding referendums last September. Ukraine considers these territories illegally occupied by Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated last year that Moscow would defend its territory by all means necessary. Earlier this month, the Kremlin said that the Russian military was carefully monitoring information about Ukraine’s preparations for its counteroffensive.

April 29, 2023 at 06:33PM


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