Recent media reports said the United States feared the Ukrainian push would yield the desired results.
Kiev forces will seize territories newly integrated into Russia as well as Crimea, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said on Friday in an interview with several Nordic media.
He was responding to a question about the much-discussed plans for a counter-offensive.
“A counter-offensive will occur. We’re getting ready” said Zelensky. “I firmly believe that it will be a success and that we will clear our territories.”
“We will move forward…there can be no questions about it,” said the president. However, he reiterated that the final outcome would depend on foreign arms deliveries. “For example, there is a risk that we don’t have enough armored vehicles,” said Zelensky.
The president’s words came after Politico magazine reported on Monday that the White House feared the high-profile operation might not meet expectations. The New York Times, meanwhile, said Western support for kyiv could weaken and Ukraine could come under pressure to resume negotiations with Russia if the offensive does not bring “a decisive victory”.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov said on Friday that troops were broadly ready to attack the Russians. However, on the same day, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba urged not to bet too much on the planned operation. “You should not consider the counter-offensive as a decisive battle”, he said.
According to newly leaked Pentagon files, Western countries trained and equipped nine Ukrainian brigades, while three more bridges were being assembled. “internally.” NATO members pledged Challenger 2 and Leopard 2 heavy tanks for kyiv earlier this year, which are expected to take part in offensive operations.
Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia following the 2014 Western-backed coup in Kyiv. Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, followed suit after holding referendums last September. Ukraine considers these territories illegally occupied by Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last year that Moscow would defend its territory by any means necessary. Earlier this month, the Kremlin said the Russian military was carefully monitoring reports of Ukraine’s preparations for its counteroffensive.
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