Ukraine’s armed forces are finishing their preparations for a counteroffensive against Russian troops, defense minister Oleksii Reznikov has said.
“Preparations [for the counteroffensive] are coming to an end,” Reznikov said in an online briefing Friday.
“In a global sense, we are ready in a high percentage mode. The next question is up to the General Staff ... As soon as it is God's will, the weather and the commanders' decision, we will do it,” he later added.
Asked whether Ukraine had received the weapons promised by its international allies in order to launch a counteroffensive, Reznikov said his country had received Leopard 2 and Challenger tanks and was expecting Leopard 1 tanks “a little later.” He said US-made Abrams tanks would not arrive in time to participate in the counteroffensive.
“We have received very modern systems ... Let me remind you that in addition to the tank coalition – which primarily includes Leopard 2s, plus Challengers – Leopard 1s will arrive a little later, and we are waiting for the Abrams. They [the Abrams] will not have time to participate in this counteroffensive, I think. But our crews have already left for training,” Reznikov said.
“In addition, we have a large number of armored vehicles of various types, including Bradley, Marder, Stryker, and C90, and [our forces] are completing their training courses there.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that Ukraine’s foreign allies had delivered more than 98% of the combat vehicles promised to Kyiv.
Some background: Ukraine has made extraordinary efforts to conceal the start of its strategically vital counteroffensive, and deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar stated last week that the counteroffensive would not be announced.