Ukrainian forces are steadily advancing, but arms and ammunition shortages, namely air defense systems, are causing difficulties, President Volodymyr Zelensky told the Italian news channel Sky TG24 on Oct. 4.
"The initiative is in our hands. Albeit slowly, we are pushing Russia out of our country step by step," Zelensky said in the interview.
"Difficulties are posed by the minefields and by the shortages of weapons and ammunition, especially air defenses," he added.
NATO, the U.S., and the U.K. have been raising the alarm on dwindling arms and ammunition stocks, which they and other allied countries could send to Ukraine.
Admiral Rob Bauer, the chair of the NATO Military Committee, urged Kyiv's partners to ramp up their defense industry production to ensure a stable flow of weapon supplies.
Continued security assistance is also the focal point of a legislative battle in the U.S., as a right-wing faction of the Republican Party criticizes the level of support that Washington is providing to Ukraine.
In the interview, Zelensky stressed that anti-air systems are crucial not only for the ongoing counteroffensive but also to protect the civilian population.
Ukrainian officials warned earlier that Russia is likely to escalate its strikes against the civilian infrastructure in the coming winter in an effort to cripple the country's power grid. Moscow attempted such a strategy during the fall and winter of 2022-2023.
Ukrenergo, Ukraine's state energy operator, said that a wave of Russian attacks on Sept. 21 marked the first mass strike on the energy infrastructure in six months.