Ukraine's Zelenskyy: We are ready for counteroffensive

    WORLD  03 June 2023 - 12:22

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was now ready to launch a long-awaited counteroffensive but tempered a forecast of success with a warning: It could take some time and come at a heavy cost.

    “We strongly believe that we will succeed,” Zelenskyy said in an interview in this southern port city as his country’s military girded for what could be one of the war’s most consequential phases as it aims to retake territory occupied by Russia.

    “I don’t know how long it will take,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “To be honest, it can go a variety of ways, completely different. But we are going to do it, and we are ready.”

    Zelensky acknowledged Russian air superiority on the front lines and said a lack of protection from Russian air power means “a large number of soldiers will die” in the counteroffensive.

    Ukraine would have liked to have more Western-supplied weapons for the coming campaign, he said. Still, Ukraine is ready to move. “We would like to have certain things, but we can’t wait for months,” he said.

    Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s ground forces were “stronger and more motivated” than the dug-in Russian troops trying to hold on to the roughly 20% of Ukraine they control in the country’s east and south.

    The counteroffensive is a pivotal moment for Zelenskyy, a former actor and comedian whose leadership during the war has propelled him to global prominence. The outcome will shape the contours of Western military backing and diplomatic jockeying over Ukraine’s future.

    Caliber.Az

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