Ukraine affirmed this Wednesday that the counteroffensive it launched to recover the territories occupied by Russia is expected “long and difficult” and insisted on the need to obtain new Western tanks and F-16 fighters.
The operation launched by kyiv at the beginning of June to reconquer the territories occupied by Moscow in the south and east of the territory made little progress.
“Without any doubt, this operation will be quite difficult, long and will take a long time,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podoliak told AFP.
According to him, the main brake on the advance of the Ukrainian forces is “the depth of the minefields” laid for months by the Russian army and which measure from “four to sixteen kilometers”.
Ukrainian troops also suffer from “arms supply problems”, admitted the adviser, despite the efforts made by kyiv’s allies.
“The (Western) military and industrial complexes were not prepared for this kind of war,” Podoliak opined.
Guns, tanks and ammunition
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser also stated that Ukraine needs “200 to 300 additional armored vehicles, mainly tanks,” “60 to 80 F-16s,” and “5 to 10 additional air defense systems,” which are American Patriots. or its French equivalent SAMP/T.
“We need shells,” Podoliak stressed, detailing that the Ukrainian forces use between “4,500 and 6,000 high-caliber shells a day.”
“We must be able to use 150 to 200 long-range missiles every month,” even “300 or 400,” he insisted.
The presidential adviser ruled out any negotiations with Russiawhose goal, according to him, is to “destroy” Ukraine and regain “full control” of the countries of the former USSR.
“For us, there is no possible compromise because Russia hates us, it has come to destroy the very concept of a Ukrainian state,” he said.
Attacks against the export of grains
Meanwhile, President Zelensky accused Russia on Wednesday of “deliberately” targeting the infrastructure used to export grain across the Black Sea, days after a crucial agreement on that issue expired.
After a second consecutive night of shelling in Odessa, a strategic southern port city, the Ukrainian president accused Russian troops on Telegram of “deliberately targeting the infrastructure of the grain agreement,” thanks to which Kiev could export its production. agriculture, crucial for world food.
According to the ministry in charge of the Reconstruction of Ukraine, “the grain terminals and port infrastructures of Odessa and Chornomorsk” were hit, causing damage to “the warehouses and docks of the port of Odessa.”
The Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture indicated that 60,000 tons of grain were destroyed in the port of Chornomorsk.
For its part, the Russian military said the attacks targeted Ukrainian military sites near Odessa, including “infrastructure for fuel and ammunition depots.”
According to kyiv, Russian forces launched Kalibr cruise missiles, Shahed explosive drones, and Onyx and Kh-22 anti-ship missiles.
At least twelve people were injured in those night attacks, according to the governor of Odesa, Oleg Kiper, although the Prosecutor’s Office reported a balance of ten wounded.
On Tuesday, the Kremlin had warned of new “risks” in the Black Sea following the suspension of the agreement to export grains, which allowed Ukrainian agricultural products to be transported safely, despite the conflict and the blockade of Ukrainian ports by of the Russian navy.
Russia refused to prolong the Ukrainian grain export agreement signed in July 2022 under the auspices of the UN and Turkey, and subsequently extended several times.
By way of argument, Moscow denounced that its demand to lift the obstacles to the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers was not being met.
The Kremlin too accused Ukraine of using the maritime corridor “for military purposes”, opened under the agreement.
Odessa and its region are home to the three ports that kyiv used to export its agricultural products under the agreement.
In one year, the pact allowed the export of 33 million tons of grains, mainly corn and wheat, which helped stabilize world food prices.