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New counter-offensive against Russia must ‘demonstrate success’, Ukraine’s PM says

The Ukrainian prime minister said that the country is carefully preparing for a counter-offensive to Russian forces, because it is “very significant” and “must demonstrate success”.

Denys Shmyhal said to Sky News that a long-awaited military operation will only begin when it is the right time, but did not specify when.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister said that the day Kyiv defeats Russia will be the most significant for the country.

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“I am sure that the biggest victory for Ukraine will come from the victory over this horrible Russian aggression, full-scale aggression against Ukraine,” said he during a visit to the UK in order to attend the coronation ceremony of King Charles.

Image: Denys Schmyhal talks with King Charles, Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska and Denys Shmyhal during a Buckingham Palace reception last week

Mr Shmyhal watched British and New Zealand soldiers train Ukrainian recruits in a British-led programme of assistance to convert thousands of Ukrainian civils into soldiers.

When asked whether some of those recruits who are learning to shoot and other skills will be involved in the counter-offensive once they return to Ukraine, Prime Minister, speaking in English said: “On the training base, all of our future soldiers, guys and girls, have… special knowledge and experience, practical experiences for the battlefield.”

Shmyhal responded to the question of why the Ukrainian military took so long to officially begin its offensive: “We’re preparing very carefully, because it’s an important operation, and we understand we should show success in this mission to our society, our partners, the entire world, [and] our enemy.”

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He said that during the visit on Friday last week, the troops were preparing themselves for the mission, including training, weapons, and ammunition. Ukraine also worked closely with its partner countries.

We will start…when it is the right time, when everything will be ready…we will immediately begin counter-offensive when our military and government leadership make a decision.”

Image: Ukrainians trained by British and Lithuanian troops in the UK, February 2023

The prime minister reiterated the denials of his president that Ukraine was involved in a drone strike against the Kremlin last week, which Russian officials claimed was meant to kill Mr Putin.

Mr Shmyhal stated that it was more likely to be a “false-flag” operation.

He said, “We believe that this is a false flag operation. However, we do not have any more information.” “It is not a Ukrainian operation.”


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