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27 Jun, 2023 10:34

Kiev explains slow counteroffensive – Politico

Ukrainian officials blame Russian air power, minefields, even bad weather for impeding its advances on the battlefield
Kiev explains slow counteroffensive – Politico

Kiev has allegedly insisted that there have been no purposeful delays on its part in regards to the much-heralded counteroffensive, as its Western backers have supposedly grown frustrated with the slow progress of the operation, Politico reported on Monday.

According to the outlet, Ukrainian officials have stressed that they wish their operation could move faster but pointed the finger at factors such as the effectiveness of Russian aircraft, minefields and bad weather in trying to explain why their armed forces have failed to make notable progress.

“We’re still moving forward in different parts of the front line,” Yuri Sak, an adviser to Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, told Politico. “Earlier it was not possible to assess the solidity of the Russian defenses,” he added, noting that “only now that we are doing active probing operations, we get a better picture. The obtained information will be factored into the next stages of our offensive operations.”

Nevertheless, Politico claims that Kiev’s backers in Washington and in Europe are unhappy with the slow pace of the operation and are allegedly demanding that Ukrainian troops hurry up and make significant battlefield gains soon.

They have also reportedly criticized Ukraine’s Armed Forces for being “too cautious,” waiting for the perfect weather and other factors to align before striking Russian positions.

The outlet also noted that a number of analysts have been warning for quite some time that despite all the Western training provided to Ukrainian commanders, it remains unlikely that Kiev will meet NATO fighting standards and will continue to operate with a strategy of attrition without properly employing combined-arms operations, maneuver warfare and longer-range precision strikes.

The prediction comes as Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba reiterated Kiev’s demands for more artillery systems and missiles, during a meeting of top EU diplomats on Monday. He also insisted on speeding up the training of Ukrainian pilots on advanced fighter jets and called for more sanctions to be placed on Russia.

Kiev and its Western backers have been assessing how to take advantage of the “window” of opportunity caused by the abandoned rebellion launched in Russia by Wagner PMC chief Evgeny Prigozhin over the weekend.

Officially, however, Washington has maintained silence on the Wagner mutiny. According to a report by Axios on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reportedly demanded that his staff refrain from commenting on the incident and only say that the US is monitoring the situation.