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Zelensky: Ukraine aims to liberate all its territory, but tactics may change

by Martin Fornusek December 19, 2023 8:04 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers are seen in a tank as Russia and Ukraine war continues in the direction of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on Dec. 1, 2023. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's strategic goal of reclaiming all of its territory has not changed, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Dec. 19, adding that tactics may be adjusted based on this year's results.

"The strategy cannot be changed, according to our constitution. These are all our territories," Zelensky said in response to a journalist's question whether the lack of breakthrough at the front changes Kyiv's strategic aims.

The long-anticipated counteroffensive in the south and east of the country brought only limited results and failed to achieve its main goals, as Ukrainian troops encountered heavy Russian defenses.

"As for tactics, those may be changed based on the results of our operations in southern Ukraine in 2023, which will be taken into account."

The president refused to reveal further details about Ukraine's military plans for the next year.

Zelensky also added that Russia failed to achieve its own goals during the past year.

"The Kremlin's message remains the same, the 'special military operation' (Russia's term of its war against Ukraine) has the same goals, and they are clear: the occupation of our state," the president added.

Zelensky and other top Ukrainian officials previously acknowledged that the counteroffensive did not live up to expectations.

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.

Ukraine finally moves to fortify front line, but could it be too little too late?
“If you want to live, dig.” The words, often spoken by Ukrainian troops, are universal advice for trench warfare in general, but especially for both sides in Russia’s war against Ukraine. Normally expressed as advice to the individual soldier, the maxim now applies to the country as a whole.
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