Concerning Slow Counterattack, Ukraine Asks Critics to ‘Shut Up’

Ukraine told critics of the pace of its three-month counter-offensive to “shut up” on Thursday, August 31, 2023. This was the starkest signal of Kyiv’s frustration with data leaks from Western officials who said its troops were advancing too slowly.
Since launching its much-vaunted counteroffensive using billions of dollars worth of Western military equipment, Ukraine has recaptured more than a dozen villages but has yet to break through key Russian defenses.
Reports in the New York Times, Washington Post and other news organizations last week quoted US and other Western officials as saying the attacks did not go well with expectations. Some parties blamed Ukraine’s strategy, including accusing Ukraine of concentrating its troops in the wrong place.
Moscow says Ukraine’s efforts have failed. Ukrainian commanders said they had been deliberately slow, skimping on Russian defenses and logistics to cut losses when they finally attacked in full force. Ukrainian land,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters on Thursday.
“I would recommend all critics to shut up, come to Ukraine and try to liberate one square centimeter,” he said at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Spain.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNN that Ukrainian commanders deserved confidence.

“Ukrainian society has repeatedly exceeded expectations,” he said. “We need to trust them. We advise, we help, we support. But… it is Ukraine that has to make those decisions.”
After months of fighting their way through heavy minefields, Ukrainian forces have finally reached Russia’s main line of defense in recent days, south of the village of Robotyne they captured last week in the West Zaporizhzhia region.
They are now advancing between the nearby villages of Novopokropivka and Verbove, looking for a way out of the anti-tank ditches and rows of concrete pyramids known as dragon teeth that make up Russia’s main stronghold as seen from space.A breakthrough would be the first test of Russia’s deeper defenses, which Ukraine hopes will be more vulnerable and less heavily mined than areas its forces have crossed so far.

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