Kiev’s much-hyped counteroffensive has yielded decent results given the limited resources it has been given, Andrey Yermak has claimed
The Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russian forces, launched early last summer, was “quite successful,” President Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of administration, Andrey Yermak, has claimed.
The top aide made the remarks in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo published on Friday. Yermak dismissed suggestions that the counteroffensive outright failed or ended up stalled as “Russian propaganda.” However, he admitted that the expectations for the counteroffensive push had been set too high.
“I agree that expectations have to meet capabilities. And taking into account the capabilities provided (the weapons received from Western allies), the counteroffensive was quite successful,” the official asserted, apparently implying that Western aid had proven to be way too limited for the counteroffensive to yield better results.
Yermak’s assessment of the counteroffensive outcome has invoked an ironic reaction in Moscow, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggesting that Zelensky’s chief of administration apparently failed to mention a single crucial detail.
“He forgot to mention [Ukraine’s counteroffensive was successful] ‘for Russia,’” Zakharova wrote in a Telegram post.
According to the latest estimates by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu provided earlier this month, Ukraine lost more than 215,000 troops and 28,000 pieces of military hardware last year alone. He put the total tally nearing 400,000. According to these estimates, more than half of the casualties were sustained by the Ukrainian military during its counteroffensive push, which Moscow has repeatedly described as a failure.
Kiev has never officially disclosed the country’s casualty figures sustained amid the conflict with Russia. The heavy casualties have been indirectly corroborated by Kiev’s ever-widening mobilization effort, which has grown increasingly lawless and violent during the hostilities.
Late last year, Zelensky claimed the country’s military had asked him to round up another 450,000 to 500,000 recruits to bolster the ranks. The announcement was made shortly before a new mobilization bill was brought before the Ukrainian parliament. It proposed lowering the draft age from 27 to 25, eliminating exemptions for some categories of disabled people, and introducing other measures to fill up the military’s ranks.
Ukrainian MPs, however, failed to agree on it, and the legislation ended up being shelved.
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