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Czech president: Western military support for Ukraine insufficient for high-intensity operation

by Martin Fornusek November 28, 2023 2:16 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Czech President Petr Pavel at a joint press-conference following their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 28, 2023. (STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The current Western defense deliveries to Ukraine were insufficient to maintain a high-intensity operation, Czech President Petr Pavel said when discussing Kyiv's counteroffensive in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera published on Nov. 27.

Kyiv's partners did not keep their promise to provide enough artillery shells, and the training on F-16 aircraft is not proceeding as fast as it should, Pavel noted.

In turn, Russia ramped up arms production and mobilization efforts and secured 1 million shells from North Korea, he added.

If the West misses its opportunity to support Ukraine, next year could be more favorable to Moscow, Pavel warned.

The president also pointed out that winter hardships, exacerbated by damaged infrastructure and coupled with growing hesitation among Western partners, will likely cause frustration among Ukrainians and may undermine counteroffensive operations.

Pavel believes that the allies still have an opportunity to change the current situation and tip the balance in Ukraine's favor. Russia's defeat is in the West's interests, as Moscow's victory would demonstrate the weakness of democratic powers to other regimes in the world, he stressed.

"We have no choice but to give Ukraine everything it needs to succeed in its mission to restore sovereignty and control of its borders: anything less will be our failure," Pavel, a former NATO Military Committee chair, commented.

Signs of fatigue and hesitation have been becoming visible among Kyiv's allies, linked by some to the limited success of Ukraine's counteroffensive and the breakout of conflict in Gaza.

Political forces skeptical of Ukraine aid have been growing stronger both in the U.S. and the EU, undermining support efforts and causing concern for the future of the pro-Kyiv alliance.

In his earlier statement on Nov. 9, Pavel said that battlefield developments do not indicate Ukraine can gain the upper hand militarily.

He added that time favors Russia and urged the West to commit to long-standing support to prevent Moscow from securing any kind of victory.

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This November has been a particularly grim one here in Ukraine. Over the past month, two media sensations in big Western magazines served as a sober wake-up call about the state of the war. First, Simon Shuster’s profile in TIME magazine on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s “lonely fight”
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