Ukraine's Zelensky blames West: ‘I wanted our counteroffensive…’
Russia-Ukraine War: Zelensky revealed that he had sought to begin the counteroffensive against Russia "much earlier".
Slow weapons deliveries from the West delayed Ukraine's counteroffensive owing to which Russia strengthened its defensive in occupied areas, the country's president Volodymyr Zelensky said. Speaking to CNN in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, Zelensky revealed that he had sought to begin the counteroffensive against Russia "much earlier". The counteroffensive started in early June.
What Volodymyr Zelensky said on Ukraine's counteroffensive?
"Our slowed-down counteroffensive is happening due to certain difficulties in the battlefield. Everything is heavily mined there," Zelensky said.
“I wanted our counteroffensive happening much earlier, because everyone understood that if the counteroffensive will be unfolding later, then much bigger part of our territory will be mined,” the Ukrainian leader added.
I had told US and European leaders ahead of the counteroffensive that a lack of supplies would result in more casualties, he asserted, saying, "I'm grateful to the US as the leaders of our support, but I told them as well as European leaders that we would like to start our counteroffensive earlier, and we will need all the weapons and material for that. Why? Simply because if we start later, it will go slower, and we will have losses of lives, because everything is heavily mined -- we will have to go through it all."
What Ukraine's military commander-in-chief had said earlier?
In another interview last week, Ukraine's military commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny had expressed frustration at the slow deliveries of weapons from the West. It "pisses me off" that some in the West complain about the slow start of the counteroffensive, Zaluzhny told The Washington Post.
Ukraine is still waiting for F-16 fighters promised by its allies, he had said.
"It's not even about the Ukrainian advantage of the sky over the Russians. This is only about being equal," he said. F-16s could be viewed as "humanitarian" support as they could be used by Ukraine to keep open a shipping corridor if Russia decides to not extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative, he said.
"F-16s give us a possibility to build a defense of this corridor," Zelensky also said.