Zelensky accuses the West: ‘I desired an earlier counteroffensive in Ukraine.’

    According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the counteroffensive against Russia in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has been delayed due to slow weapons deliveries from the West. Zelensky revealed in an interview with CNN in Odesa that he had intended to initiate the counteroffensive “much earlier” but encountered difficulties on the battlefield, particularly heavy mining in the occupied areas. He expressed concerns that a delayed counteroffensive would lead to a larger portion of Ukrainian territory being mined, resulting in greater casualties.

    Zelensky emphasised that he had informed leaders in the United States and Europe about the potential consequences of inadequate supplies. While expressing gratitude for their support, he had urged them to expedite the provision of weapons and materials for the counteroffensive. He stressed that starting later would slow down the progress and increase the loss of lives due to the extensive mining in the region.

    Ukraine’s military commander-in-chief, Valery Zaluzhny, echoed similar frustrations in a recent interview with The Washington Post. He expressed annoyance at the slow deliveries of weapons from Western allies and highlighted the importance of F-16 fighters that had been promised but not yet received. Zaluzhny stated that acquiring the F-16s was not solely about gaining an advantage over the Russian forces but rather about achieving a sense of equality.

    Additionally, Zaluzhny viewed the F-16s as a form of “humanitarian” support that would enable Ukraine to maintain an open shipping corridor if Russia decided to cease the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This initiative plays a significant role in Ukraine’s economy, and the F-16s could help safeguard it.

    Overall, the delayed counteroffensive and slow weapons deliveries have allowed Russia to strengthen its defensive positions in the occupied areas of Ukraine. Zelensky and Zaluzhny both expressed their frustrations with the situation, emphasising the urgent need for support from Western allies to effectively confront the Russian aggression.