Zelensky says Ukraine ‘waited too long’ to launch counteroffensive

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday his country “waited too long” to launch its counteroffensive against Russia, indicating that Kyiv’s Western allies kept it waiting with weapons deliveries.

When asked by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria how the long-awaited counteroffensive was going, Zelensky said the country remains focused on the end result, which is regaining their territory from Russia.

He said that Russia had time to plant mines and dig in its defenses as Kyiv waited for Western weapons.

“We — look, we waited too long. It’s true. No, I’m thankful to partners, to the United States, EU, other partners,” he said. “I’m thankful very much to President Biden and to Congress, but we have to understand: We waited too long, they put mines. Then when we been ready from the point of view of our partners because the decision to give us, for example, Bradley [Fighting Vehicles] and other kind of weapons, the decision, it doesn’t mean the result.”

Zelensky noted that Ukraine does not get the weapons promised to it immediately after they are announced by allies.

He then reiterated that winning the war is the only way Ukraine can recover its land, saying that a failure would allow Russia to attack other countries.

“We pay the highest price, it’s true, and I don’t want to repeat this for everybody — to know this war, but they can not only know people in the West have to feel it and you can choose. Feel it when your families are under attacks? You really want it? You really want to try it? I will not — I can’t recommend it.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ukraine last week, and he said the nation was making “real progress” in its pushback against Russia.

“Ukrainian forces have taken back more than 50 percent of the territory seized by Russian forces since February of 2022,” he said. “In the ongoing counteroffensive, progress has accelerated in the past few weeks.”

Blinken also announced another $1 billion in American aid during his visit.

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