Polish President Andrzej Duda, one of Kiev’s most ardent foreign backers, has predicted that Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian forces will likely fail. Duda, like his counterpart in Kiev, claimed that even more Western weapons were the answer.
“Does Ukraine have enough weapons to change the balance of the war and get the upper hand?” Duda asked the newspaper in an interview published on Thursday, before answering, “Probably, no.”
“We know this by the fact that they’re not currently able to carry out a very decisive counteroffensive against the Russian military,” he continued. “To make a long story short, they need more assistance.”
Ukraine launched its long-awaited counteroffensive against Russian forces in early June, assaulting multiple points along the frontline from Zaporozhye to Donetsk Regions. However, the Russian military had spent several months preparing a dense and multi-layered network of minefields, trenches, and fortifications, which the Ukrainian side has thus far failed to overcome
Advancing through minefields without air support, Ukraine’s Western-trained and NATO-equipped units have suffered horrendous casualties, losing 43,000 troops and 4,900 pieces of heavy weaponry in just over two months, according to the most recent figures from the Russian Defense Ministry.
Recent media reports suggest that Kiev’s Western backers knew that Ukraine wasn’t ready to go on the offensive, but encouraged the operation nonetheless. Duda was among those cheerleading the counteroffensive, declaring in early June that the operation would lead to “the ousting of Russian military forces from all occupied territories.”
Like Duda, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky now blames his forces’ lack of success on the West, claiming that Ukraine did not receive enough munitions, weaponry, or training to succeed. Zelensky and his senior officials have repeatedly asked the US and its allies for F-16 fighter jets, long-range missiles, and anti-aircraft weaponry, claiming that this equipment will reverse Ukraine’s losing streak on the battlefield.
Moscow has repeatedly urged the West to stop “pumping” weapons into Ukraine, warning that continued military aid will only prolong the conflict and inflict more destruction upon Ukraine, without changing the final outcome.