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Duda: Ukraine needs more weapons to change balance of war

by Martin Fornusek August 10, 2023 10:54 PM 2 min read
Polish President Andrzej Duda during a joint press conference with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda on June 28, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Valentyna Polishchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine needs more international assistance as it most likely does not field enough weapons to change the balance of the war, Polish President Andrzej Duda said in an interview with the Washington Post on Aug. 10.

"The question is: Does Ukraine have enough weapons to change the balance of the war and get the upper hand? And the answer is probably no," Duda said.

"And we know this by the fact that they're not currently able to carry out a very decisive counteroffensive against the Russian military."

Duda however added that Western long-range artillery supplies could mean that "Ukraine now has much more modern military capabilities than Russia."

The Ukrainian counteroffensive has been underway in at least three directions in Ukraine's southwest and east since early July. President Volodymyr Zelensky described the campaign as "challenging" while adding that Ukraine still holds the initiative.

Ukrainian armed forces' Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi told the Washington Post that Ukrainian troops are making limited gains daily despite the lack of much-needed supplies, including F-16 fighter jets and artillery ammunition.

The counteroffensive's relatively slow progress prompted skepticism among Western observers about whether it can help Ukraine reach a decisive strategic success.

On Aug. 8, CNN wrote, citing U.S. and Western officials, that the initial expectations regarding the counteroffensive were "unrealistic," adding that the Western leadership receives increasingly "sobering" assessments of the progress.

WSJ: Cluster munitions provide ‘fresh impetus’ to Ukraine’s counteroffensive
U.S.-supplied cluster munitions are destroying Russian positions in areas where Ukrainian troops had struggled to advance, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Aug. 8.

The Polish Head of State also said during the interview that he does not believe that Russia will use its nuclear arsenal in response to Western arms supplies for Ukraine. Such a step would require a collective decision, not dependent solely on the country's dictator Vladimir Putin, Duda said.

However, the president raised concerns regarding potential "nuclear accidents" at Ukraine's nuclear plants. Since March 2022, Russian forces occupy the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear station in Europe.

In late June, Ukrainian officials warned that Russia is considering a terrorist attack at the plant through a deliberate radiation leakage.

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