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Ukraine’s defense minister warns against unrealistic expectations for Ukraine’s counteroffensive

Ukraine's counteroffensive
Oleksiy Reznikov. Screenshot from Current Time interview
Ukraine’s defense minister warns against unrealistic expectations for Ukraine’s counteroffensive

Expectations for blitzkrieg progress are based on Ukraine’s successful operations to liberate Kharkiv and Kherson oblasts, but the weather, terrain, and conditions are totally different now

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has urged for patience regarding the current counteroffensive, stating that the situation differs significantly from the swift progress made in the Kharkiv Oblast. In an interview with Current Time, Reznikov attributed heightened expectations around Ukraine’s counteroffensive to fall of 2022, during which Ukraine made two lightning campaigns to liberate Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts.

Marked in green are the territories in Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts that Ukraine managed to swiftly retake in the fall of 2022. Credit: Deepstatemap

Ukraine’s counteroffensive near Kharkiv: what enabled the Balakliia blitzkrieg

“The Kharkiv operation was very fast, successful, unexpected for the enemy, for the world community, and for many Ukrainians. A well-thought-out military operation, well planned and implemented. The Russians were not ready, so we successfully reached the Oskil River,” Reznikov said.

However, the minister noted that the situation in Kherson was different, with slower progress due to different terrain, weather conditions, and other factors. He emphasized that it is unrealistic to expect the same speed of progress as in Kharkiv, given the different front line, terrain, and weather conditions.

“Plus, the Russians had a chance to prepare. The density of minefields is incredible. Unlike the Russians, Ukrainians cherish the lives of their soldiers. The Russians use their soldiers as cannon fodder,” Reznikov pointed out.

Reznikov stressed that the life and health of servicemen are of paramount importance for Ukraine, unlike Russia, and therefore the Ukrainian army does not employ a “meat grinder” tactic.

“Our officers, our commanders maneuver, look for opportunities, move carefully. I suggest not to rush them, not to push, they are doing their job. And they will do it,” the defense minister declared.

On 19 June, the Ministry of Defense reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are advancing on Melitopol and Berdiansk, and within a week, eight populated areas in the Tavriya direction were liberated: Novodarivka, Levadne, Storozhove, Makarivka, Blagodatne, Lobkove, Nenudne, and Piatyhatky.


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