Ukraine counteroffensive goes according to plan, defence official insists
Deputy Defence Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar. Photo via Facebook

The Ukrainian Armed Forces' offensive is going according to plan, and it is incorrect to draw any conclusions at the present stage, deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said on Friday.

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Her comments come as CNN reported Ukraine’s counteroffensive In its early phases "is having less success and Russian forces are showing more competence than Western assessments expected".

Speaking on national television, Ms Maliar stressed the success or failure of any operation should be judged by the Ukrainian military.

"The military reports that everything is going according to plan. We should not expect the offensive to be quick," she warned.

"Of course, the enemy is resisting, they understand that we will liberate all the territories and are preparing."

The deputy defence minister noted the dense mining of the territories slows down the counteroffensive, but Ukraine’s Armed Forces are making "slow but steady" progress every day.

"Conditions are being created for the liberation of the territories. It is too early to make assessments, the offensive is ongoing, so it is incorrect to draw any conclusions. The tactics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are primarily to preserve personnel," she summed up.