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Ukrainian officials send mixed signals on counteroffensive — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Presidential adviser Igor Zhovkva insisted the operation was still being planned after a colleague of Zelensky’s claimed it had already begun.

Ukrainian government officials have made conflicting statements about the start of the long-awaited counteroffensive against Russian forces. Kyiv’s leaders have insisted in recent months that the country is preparing to drive enemy forces out of territories under Moscow’s control.

Speaking to Bloomberg on Thursday, a senior adviser to President Vladimir Zelensky, Igor Zhovkva, said Ukraine “will also prepare the counter-offensive.” He explained that the operation will begin once kyiv receives all the necessary weapons from its donors, including long-range artillery, ammunition and combat tanks.

Speaking on the same day, Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) spokesman Andrey Yusov also used the future tense to talk about the planned counteroffensive.

“As for the details, we certainly shouldn’t ask ourselves every day: ‘What’s up with the counter-offensive?’ But, without a doubt, there will be liberation,” insisted the manager, adding that “Everything will be alright.”

The statements came shortly after another top aide to President Zelensky, Mikhail Podoliak, told Italian TV channel Rai that “The counter-offensive has been going on for several days now, an intense war is going on along the 1,500 km long border.”

He also underlined Ukraine’s commitment not to use Western-supplied weapons to carry out strikes on Russian soil. At the same time, Podoliak noted that Kyiv sees Crimea as well as Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics as legitimate targets. Both Ukraine and Russia consider these territories their own.

Several hours later, Podoliak took to Twitter to clarify his remarks, arguing that the counteroffensive is “not a ‘single event’ that will begin at a specific time on a specific day with a solemn cutting of the red ribbon.”

Instead, he said the Ukrainian military had been taking action in various places for some time to weaken Russian forces, with particular emphasis on the “destruction of enemy logistics.”

Senior Ukrainian officials, including President Zelensky, have repeatedly floated the idea that the counteroffensive could be delayed due to slow Western arms deliveries. Many observers expected it to have already begun.

Publicly, the United States and other Western donors say they are ready to support Kyiv in “as long as it takes” to make sure he gets back all the territory he lost to Russia.

However, earlier this month Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK, Vadim Pristaiko, complained that the West had piled “too much pressure” on kyiv and built “too much expectation” on the counter-offensive.

The New York Times reported in April that Western supporters of Ukraine are likely to start pressuring Kiev to negotiate with Moscow, if the long-awaited offensive fails.


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