White House: US did ‘just about everything’ to prepare Ukraine for counteroffensive
The United States has done "just about everything we can" to make sure Ukraine is ready for its spring counteroffensive, the White House said on Thursday.
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"We’re confident that we have done just about everything we can here in the United States, but also speaking broadly for our allies and partners, to make sure they’re ready if and when president Zelenskyy chooses to go on the offence, and he’s the only one that can make that decision," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told a briefing.
He noted that Ukraine had received about 98 percent of the capabilities it had asked to do offensive operations in the spring, including armour, artillery, air defence, ammunition, and the training for multiple brigades of Ukrainian Armed Forces.
"It’s the know-how and how to use that stuff in the field for what we call ‘combined arms manoeuvre’, which is what they believe they’re going to need operating in open terrain, integrating mechanised infantry and artillery and air defence all in the field," Mr Kirby added.
The NSC spokesman stressed that while the US has done "everything we can" to help Ukraine with the counteroffensive, "that doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop."
"You’re going to see continued support from the United States going forward. But as for the actual execution of any kind of spring counteroffensive, that’s going to be up to president Zelenskyy," he said.
Ukraine has been gearing up for an announced counteroffensive operation to happen somewhere in the spring, including by training troops and receiving armoured vehicles.
Speaking in Finland earlier this week, Ukraine’s president said he was confident in the counteroffensive’s success but asked for more weapons to help Kyiv on the battlefield.