Zelenskyy wanted counteroffensive to start 'much earlier'
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy wanted for Kyiv’s counteroffensive to start earlier and had been asking Western allies to speed up the delivery of military capabilities, he told CNN in an interview.
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"I’m grateful to the US as the leaders of our support, but I told them as well as the European leaders that we would like to start our counteroffensive earlier, and we need all the weapons and materiel for that," Mr Zelenskyy said.
"Why? Simply because if we start later, it will go slower."
The Ukrainian president added that difficulties on the battlefield were now leading to a "slowed-down" counteroffensive.
"I wanted our counteroffensive to happen much earlier, because everyone understood that if the counteroffensive unfolds later, then a bigger part of our territory will be mined. We give our enemy the time and possibility to place more mines and prepare their defensive lines."
The Ukrainian counteroffensive, which has been going on for several weeks, has been focused on the areas around the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, with months-long grinding battles, and the southern Zaporizhzhia region.
Earlier, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi called on the West to expedite the transfer of modern fighter jets, arguing Kyiv’s offensive has been slowed down by Russia’s air superiority.