Ukraine outraged over Western expectations – Economist
Officials in Kiev are frustrated by western demands that they accelerate their counteroffensive against Russia, despite already using all available resources on the battlefield, the Economist reported on Wednesday, citing a Ukrainian intelligence source.
The outlet noted that the Ukrainian army had suffered heavy casualties during the first weeks of the widely-anticipated counteroffensive, without making any significant gains so far, prompting Ukrainian commanders to try to protect their depleted forces.
Ukrainian officials hoped for swifter progress, but have since pointed to a number of obstacles, such as effective Russian aviation, large minefields and bad weather.
The slow pace of the counteroffensive has reportedly started worrying Kiev’s Western backers, according to The Economist, with officials arguing that a lack of shock and momentum will cost more lives in the long run.
Politico also reported on Monday that certain Western officials have called Ukraine’s Armed Forces “too cautious” and are demanding that its troops hurry up and make significant battlefield gains soon.
The unnamed Ukrainian intelligence source, however, told the Economist that such statements coming from the West are hypocritical.
“Let me put this as diplomatically as I can,” he told the outlet. “Certain partners are telling us to go forward and fight violently, but they also take their time delivering the hardware and weapons we need.”
Earlier this week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told top EU diplomats that Kiev needed more artillery systems and missiles. He also insisted on speeding up the training of Ukrainian pilots on advanced fighter jets, and called for more sanctions against Moscow.
Publicly, Western officials have pledged to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. However, the slow progress and lack of results of Kiev’s counteroffensive could jeopardize future military assistance, the Financial Times has reported.
Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly pointed out that the continued delivery of Western weapons to Ukraine would fail to change the outcome of the conflict and only served to prolong it and cause more unnecessary bloodshed.