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21 Jul, 2023 22:22

Ukraine losing ‘significant’ forces – White House

Kiev’s much-lauded counteroffensive is “hard-going,” a senior US official has admitted
Ukraine losing ‘significant’ forces – White House

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has claimed it is too early to judge the results of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, insisting that despite losing a “significant” number of troops, Kiev still has “substantial” reserves.

When asked whether “the real counteroffensive is yet to come” at the Aspen Security Forum in Washington, DC on Friday, Sullivan insisted that the counteroffensive began on “the day the first Ukrainian put their life on the line.”

“There have already been significant amounts of casualties and deaths of Ukrainian fighters in this counteroffensive, so it is well underway. And it is hard going. And we said it would be hard going,” the White House adviser told the forum’s moderator, Edward Luce.

However, Ukraine has a “substantial amount of combat power that it has not yet committed to the fight,” and according to Sullivan, is now trying to choose the right moment “when it will have the maximum impact on the battlefield.”

“It is at that moment when they make that commitment that we will really see what the likely results of that counteroffensive will be,” Sullivan stated, noting that Washington is in “close consultation with the Ukrainians on the conditions for that.”

Speaking on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the West is evidently disappointed that despite “colossal amounts of resources” sent to Kiev, its much-lauded counteroffensive has failed to produce any results and has led to high rates of Ukrainian casualties.

Top Pentagon officials insisted earlier this week that it was too early to call the counteroffensive a “failure,” saying Washington had expected all along that the operation would be bloody and protracted. The New York Times reported last week that after losing up to 20% of the weaponry deployed in the counteroffensive in just two weeks, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had paused the operation to shore up ammunition.