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Politico: Kuleba tells allies Ukraine needs long-range weapons, not forecasts

by Abbey Fenbert August 20, 2023 2:18 AM 1 min read
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks to a journalist in Kyiv on Aug. 16, 2023. (Photo by Roman PilipeyAFP via Getty Images)
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Ukraine isn't worried about Western pessimism toward its counteroffensive goals, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Axel Springer, Politico's parent company, in an interview published Aug. 19.  

“We don’t need to prove anything; our success will reward optimists while ruining the reputation of doubters,” Kuleba said.

He called for commentators to show caution with "far-reaching forecasts," and for allies to show greater urgency in supplying military aid.

“What we do need, though, is more long-range capabilities to achieve more short-term results,” Kuleba said.

Some long-range provisions are on the way: Ukrainian pilots have begun training on U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets and carried out tests runs on Swedish Gripen jets. Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to press Germany and the U.S. to provide long-range missile systems.

Germany's Taurus cruise missile and the U.S.-made ATACMS both have a longer range than the French SCALP and British Storm Shadow, equivalent missile systems which the U.K. and France have already transferred to Ukraine.

Amid Ukraine's calls for aid, some Western analysts have cast doubt on the Ukrainian military's ability to meet key counteroffensive goals. The Washington Post reported on Aug. 18 that U.S. intelligence believes Ukrainian forces will not be able to reach Melitopol this year.

The Russian-occupied city of Melitopol in Zaporizhzhia Oblast is a crucial logistics hub for the Russian army.

Kuleba, however, shrugged off the grim report.

"We take such remarks in stride," the foreign minister told Politico. “According to unnamed officials, generals and analysts, Ukraine should have ceased to exist within three to 10 days in February 2022."

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