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28 Jun, 2023 10:09

Ukrainian defense minister explains lack of counteroffensive results

Kiev’s attacks on Russian lines are merely a “preview,” Aleksey Reznikov has claimed
Ukrainian defense minister explains lack of counteroffensive results

Kiev has yet to deploy the bulk of its Western-trained reserves for the most significant phase of its counteroffensive against Russian forces, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has claimed. 

The capture of several small villages some distance from the main Russian defensive lines was “not the main event” of the operation but merely a “preview,” Reznikov stated, in an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday.

“When it [the major push] happens, you will all see it... Everyone will see everything,” he insisted.

According to the minister, Kiev’s main troop reserves, including most of the brigades trained in the West and armed with NATO-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, have not been used in the counteroffensive so far.

Reznikov also commented on last week’s failed revolt by the Wagner private military company in Russia, claiming it was a “vivid illustration” of Moscow’s vulnerabilities.

“This helps the West realize that they are investing in Ukraine for a reason, that Ukraine’s victory is absolutely real and coming soon,” he argued.

However, Reznikov acknowledged that the aborted insurrection had not affected Russian troops on the front line and that there was no sign of a collapse in morale.

Instead of banking on “mutinies and riots” in Russia, Ukraine “should trust in our security and defense forces as well as our partners providing weapons,” the minister said.

Ukraine launched its long-anticipated counteroffensive along the front line in early June, using German-made Leopard 2 tanks, US-supplied Bradley fighting vehicles and other Western hardware. According to Moscow, Kiev has so far failed to achieve any significant advances despite suffering heavy losses.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged a week ago that the progress of the counteroffensive was “slower than desired.” Unnamed US officials also told CNN that Kiev’s operation was “not meeting expectations on any front.” Ukrainian troops and armor have proven to be “vulnerable” to Russian minefields, missiles and aviation, they said.

During a Russian Security Council meeting last week, it was claimed that between June 4 and 21 Ukraine lost more than 13,000 troops, as well as 246 tanks, including 13 supplied by the West, and 152 infantry fighting vehicles.