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Zelensky: 'Ukraine wants to show results before NATO summit but every advance costs lives'

by Martin Fornusek June 30, 2023 11:43 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky visits troops in Donetsk Oblast on June 26, 2023. (Source: President of Ukraine/official website)
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Ukraine wants to show results on the battlefield before the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, but every kilometer costs lives, President Volodymyr Zelensky told Spanish public broadcaster RTVE on June 30.

Zelensky admitted that the advance has been slower than expected due to long-lasting torrential rains. For this reason, he has called on the allies to continue providing support so that Ukraine can achieve results.

The president noted that during the fall counteroffensive last, "with all respect to the allies," key artillery support arrived too late.

"We stopped because we could not advance. An offensive would mean the loss of people, and we had no artillery."

The president emphasized the value of human lives when making decisions about the counteroffensive.

"If they tell me that two months will pass and thousands of people will die, or three months and fewer people will die, of course, I will choose the latter," Zelensky said.

"Between time and people, the most important thing is people."

The NATO Vilnius summit is scheduled to take place on July 11-12, with the Russo-Ukrainian War high on the agenda.

Ukraine's top general Valerii Zaluzhnyi denounced the criticism that the counteroffensive is not progressing fast enough, adding that the campaign is not a "show."

Despite lacking enough artillery and air support, Ukrainian troops are advancing at least 500 every day, Zaluzhnyi reminded.

The long-awaited counteroffensive is underway across the front line in the east and south of Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have successfully liberated nine settlements in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, though, according to Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, the main attack is yet to come.

Ukraine war latest: Budanov says Wagner will no longer fight; Ukrainian forces make gains
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