Ukrainian Counter-Offensive Not Expected Before Mid-June

The Ukrainian army will launch a counter-offensive in the war with Russia by mid-June at the earliest, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksij Arestovich expects.


The hope is that arms shipments announced by Western countries will have arrived by then. However, Ukrainian soldiers still need to be trained in some weapon systems.

At the end of March, Russia announced that it would focus mainly on the “liberation” of the eastern Donbas area but has made no major progress. Arestovich does not expect that offensive to yield “significant results” on May 9, a major holiday in Russia that celebrates the victory over the Nazis in World War II with parades and displays of arms.

Reportedly, the Defense Ministry wants to organize a parade in the largely conquered southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which is also in the Donbas region. The huge complex of the Azovstal steelworks, the last Ukrainian stronghold in the city, is still being fought over.

Russia says it will allow civilians to leave the city through humanitarian corridors for three days during the day but will continue to bomb the complex, according to Kyiv. Ukraine reported a storm on Wednesday, but it was said to have been repulsed.

The Kremlin says the lack of a “quick” end to the military campaign is the fault of the West, its supplies of advanced weaponry to Ukraine and the information that Western intelligence services pass on to Kyiv. However, the Kremlin spokesman said that it cannot prevent Russia from achieving its military goals.

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