Estonia believes Ukrainian counter-offensive to start no sooner than in a month
Український танк на східному фронті (архівне фото) (Photo:Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty / Serhii Nuzhnenko)
It will be at least a month before Ukraine launches active offensive operations against Russia, Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said in an interview with Estonian news outlet ERR on April 23, following a Ramstein-format meeting of Ukraine’s partner nations.
He believes rainy weather to be the main obstacle to starting the counter-offensive operation.
"Listening to the opinions (voiced) at the Ramstein base, it will take a month before we will be able to speak about a real counter-offensive,” he said.
“If the weather changes, it can happen earlier. If it doesn't, a month will pass, maybe two.”
The weather conditions in Ukraine, and not the lack of battle tanks, is the main obstacle to the counter-offensive, according to him.
"Abrams tanks are not crucial for the spring offensive,” he explained.
"The Leopard coalition (of countries that have provided Ukraine with Leopard tanks) has been strong, and a lot of equipment has already been transferred to Ukraine, and a lot of it is on its way. The biggest obstacle to a counter-offensive is the weather. The weather is quite rainy, and this makes it difficult for heavy equipment to move. The Ukrainians are rather waiting for the weather to improve to start a larger-scale liberation of their territories.”
The issue of training Ukrainians in Western countries was also discussed, he added.
"Western allies conducted a high-level training for Ukrainians in carrying out a counter-offensive,” he revealed.
“The information given, and the coordination under American leadership, was very impressive. And we looked at needs that might arise when the Ukrainian counterattack begins.”
Ukraine is in a great need of ammunition, besides air defense systems, he said. There are other specific needs such as heavy trucks and trailers for them. Providing Ukraine with modern fighter jets was also considered.
"The allies have a very precise idea of what the Ukrainians need," Pevkur stated.
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