Skip to content
Edit post

Danilov: Counteroffensive hopes did not come true

by Martin Fornusek December 12, 2023 1:08 PM 2 min read
National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksii Danilov speaks with the Kyiv Independent in his office on Jan. 30, 2023. (Danylo Pavlov)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Ukraine's counteroffensive hopes did not come true, but that does not mean Kyiv will not eventually achieve victory, National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksii Danilov said in a comment for the BBC on Dec. 12.

The months-long counteroffensive launched by Ukrainian forces in the summer achieved only modest advances and largely failed to reach set strategic goals.

"In May, every citizen in our country wanted the war to end quickly. There were hopes, but they didn't come true," Danilov conceded.

The long-anticipated campaign aimed to regain large swathes of territory captured by Russia in 2022 and to reach the Sea of Azov, cutting off Crimea from the eastern occupied regions and Russia.

Facing dense Russian defensive networks, Ukrainian forces managed to liberate only 14 villages in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

As hostilities dialed down by December, top Ukrainian officials acknowledged that the counteroffensive did not achieve the desired results.

Ukraine's commander-in-chief, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, pointed out that despite NATO training for Ukrainian soldiers, the campaign was complicated by the lack of air superiority, a key element in NATO's doctrine.

"There hasn't been a war like the one we have in our country - not in the 20th nor the 21st century," Danilov commented, adding that old war textbooks, including NATO ones, "should be returned to the archives."

He nevertheless added that Ukraine would continue in its efforts to liberate its territory from Russian occupation.

"I can say for sure that we won't stop. We will continue fighting for our freedom, for our independence."

As Ukraine braces for another year of war, further support from the U.S., Kyiv's leading military donor, is being stalled by political infighting in Congress.

While Danilov hopes that Ukraine receives the aid before Christmas, he added that if it arrives a "bit later, then it shouldn't be made into a tragedy."

The White House urged Congress to pass the funding request that includes $61 billion for Ukraine before the end of the year so as not to threaten Ukraine's ability to defend itself.

Francis Farrell: Ukraine could still lose the war. Let’s get some things straight
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”
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

7:34 PM

Air Force: Ukraine downs another Russian Su-34 jet.

The destruction of the jet is the latest in a recent uptick of downed Russian planes. This list includes 12 Su-34 fighter bombers, two Su-35 fighter jets, and a rare A-50 military spy plane. Another A-50 aircraft was downed a month prior.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
3:36 PM

Slovak FM meets Lavrov in Turkey.

Slovakian Foreign Minister Juraj Blanar met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Turkey on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Antalya, Turkey, on March 2.
5:10 AM

Bulgaria will stop importing Russian oil.

Bulgaria halted Russian oil imports this week as part of the European Union's ban on Russian oil, thereby ending a two-year embargo exemption, the Bulgarian news outlet BGNES reported on March 1.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.