President’s Office cites three reasons for Ukraine's ‘slow’ counter-offensive

24 August, 01:54 PM
Ukrainian military in the Donetsk Oblast, August 2, 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi)

Ukrainian military in the Donetsk Oblast, August 2, 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi)

Ukrainian forces are making progress every day during the counter-offensive, although the advance is slower than hoped, the head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, said in an interview with German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle on Aug. 24.

He named three reasons for the "slow" offensive.

"The reason is primarily that large swaths of territory are mined," Yermak said.

“Second, we still do not have enough weapons, and the third reason is that we are different from the Russians. We think about our people.”

In contrast, the Russian Federation does not count its soldiers, throwing them into battle as "cannon fodder" and does not even recover the bodies those of its troops who have been killed, Yermak said.

Video of day

The Ukrainian military is conducting an offensive in three directions, towards Melitopol and Berdyansk in the south, and Bakhmut in the east. The Ukrainian government has rejected Western press reports and predictions of an alleged "deadlock" and "incorrect tactics" in the counter-offensive: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Aug. 23 that Ukrainian forces are moving slowly, but going in the right direction.

Ukrainian counteroffensive: Latest

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Aug. 22 that Ukrainian troops had entered Robotyne, a village in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, and the next day raised the Ukrainian flag over the liberated settlement.

Earlier, on Aug. 16, the liberation of the village of Urozhayne in Donetsk Oblast was confirmed. In total, Ukrainian forces recaptured nine settlements in the south and east of Ukraine in June, and the village of Staromayorske in Donetsk Oblastin July.

Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said that Ukrainian forces "step-by-step continue to create conditions for moving forward."

Earlier, U.S. newspaper the New York Times reported that a new phase of Ukraine's counter-offensive has begun, with the main blow coming from the southeast, where Ukrainian soldiers are gradually advancing through minefields while under attack by Russian aircraft.

According to the UK newspaper the Financial Times, Ukraine has changed its tactics after the "chaos" at the beginning of the counter-offensive, and now Ukrainian forces are focusing on striking Russian defensive positions with heavy artillery and are achieving tangible results.

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