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26 Apr, 2023 23:09

Zelensky’s right-hand man contradicts US general

Kiev has not received 98% of the vehicles it needs for its planned offensive, Mikhail Podoliak has stated
Zelensky’s right-hand man contradicts US general

Ukraine still needs more weapons and military equipment, especially artillery ammunition, before it could launch a much-anticipated counteroffensive, President Vladimir Zelensky’s adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, insisted on Wednesday.

The adviser contradicted the US commander of NATO forces in Europe, General Christopher Cavoli, who had earlier told the Congress House Armed Services Committee that 98% of combat vehicles promised to Ukraine had already been delivered.

“I am very confident that we have delivered the materiel that they need and we’ll continue a pipeline to sustain their operations as well,” he said, responding to questions about the expected Ukrainian attack.

Podoliak challenged that assessment during a telethon hosted by Ukrainian television. He said that only the Ukrainian General Staff can provide accurate numbers, and that Cavoli’s statistics weren’t up to date.

“In my opinion, 98% is too much, too large a number. He proceeds from certain mathematical data, things he knows today,” the adviser said, referring to Cavoli. “There should be much more equipment, there is a real shortage of shells, especially of heavy calibers. We are trying to solve this problem.”

The current rate of supply allows the Ukrainian military to take “certain actions” at the frontline, Podoliak said, adding that there is “never enough” weapons and equipment when facing an enemy such as Russia.

The much-anticipated counteroffensive may have already begun, he suggested, urging the public not to regard it as a single event but a large number of engagements on various fronts.

Multiple US outlets have sought to temper expectations about the Ukrainian attack over the past week, citing anonymous government officials worried about the political fallout from its possible failure. Last Friday, the White House even warned of a possible Russian offensive taking place instead.

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