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29 Jun, 2023 07:30

Counteroffensive is ‘hard work’ – top Kiev official

Fast advances only happen in fairy tales, the head of Ukraine’s national security council has said
Counteroffensive is ‘hard work’ – top Kiev official

Kiev wants its counteroffensive to achieve results faster, but this is not easy due to stiff resistance from Russian troops, Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Ukrainian media, Danilov acknowledged that Russian troops have proven to be formidable in Kiev’s counteroffensive, which Moscow says has so far failed to gain any ground. “Don’t say that these people are untrained, they are putting up a fight,” he said, adding that among Kiev’s problems are the huge minefields laid by Russian forces.

Despite those obstacles, Danilov said he is confident that the counteroffensive will eventually succeed, but called for patience. “We would very much like to move faster, but that only happens in fairy tales. It’s hard work, every day. This is the front, I repeat, not a walk in a park.”

In recent weeks, a number of Kiev officials have sought to downplay the apparent difficulties Ukraine faces amid its push to reclaim lost territories. On Sunday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov said Ukraine’s attacks should be viewed as a “preparation operation,” while suggesting that Kiev never intended to conduct a “blitzkrieg.”

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted that Kiev’s troops had encountered “very tough resistance” on the ground.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukrainian forces launched a large-scale offensive along several sections of the front in the early days of June, but their attacks failed. Russian President Vladimir Putin described Kiev’s losses as “catastrophic,” and ten times greater than Moscow’s. On Tuesday, he also said that Kiev had lost 259 tanks and 780 armored vehicles since the start of the offensive.