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NATO chief: “Ukrainians have exceeded expectations again and again”

The NATO chief says Ukrainians have repeatedly exceeded expectations during the ongoing all-out war with Russia, and now they are steadily advancing in the southern counteroffensive, breaking through formidable Russian defenses and minefields.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Screenshot: CNN
NATO chief: “Ukrainians have exceeded expectations again and again”

In his interview with CNN, NATO Secretary General Hens Stoltenberg commented on the slow pace of the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in the country’s south, saying that the Ukrainians are gradually gaining ground, breaking through Russia’s tough defenses and minefields.

Asked how he assesses the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in southern Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the NATO chief said:

“The Ukrainians are gradually gaining ground, meaning that they are pushing back the Russians. They are able to get through some of these heavily defended territories, not least minefields. And therefore it is just even more important to support them. Because all know that it is […] a tough fight, and there’s no easy way to victory for the Ukrainians. But they are making achievements, they are gaining ground,” Stoltenberg said.

Regarding the allegedly slow pace of the counteroffensive, Jens Stoltenberg noted, “What we have seen is that Ukrainians have exceeded expectations again and again,” saying that at the beginning of Russia’s full-fledged invasion of Ukraine last year, many experts believed that Ukraine would last days or weeks, but Ukrainians have liberated the country’s north around Kyiv, the occupied east near Kharkiv, and parts of the south near Kherson. 

“And now they are making even more gains. So we need to trust them, we advise, we help, we support, but at the end of the day, this is Ukrainians that have to make those decisions,” the NATO chief added.

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