Russian advances have made it “very, very difficult” for Ukraine to win its warfare with Moscow, in response to one in all Kyiv’s prime safety officers who mentioned the nation was ready for extended resistance.
Oleksiy Danilov, chief of the nationwide safety council, instructed the Financial Times that Ukraine might win “because we are fighting for our freedom”. But he mentioned a drawn-out warfare to drive out Russia’s invading military might solely succeed if western international locations accelerated provides of superior weapons.
Confidence that Ukraine might inflict additional defeats on Russia after President Vladimir Putin’s forces retreated from many of the north and east of the nation has given method to a dour temper in Kyiv as momentum has slowly swung again Russia’s method.
An offensive within the Donbas, the place the worst preventing is concentrated, has put Russia on the verge of capturing Luhansk province, which along with Donetsk province makes up the commercial border area in Ukraine’s east.
Russian troops had taken most of Sievierodonetsk, an vital regional centre, the place heavy artillery barrages and avenue battles destroyed a lot of the town.
Ukraine mentioned on Sunday it had mounted a counterattack and now held half of the town, the place officers claimed they continued to push again Russia’s forces. Reports on Monday have been blended, with some officers suggesting Ukraine had misplaced floor once more.
Ukraine additionally faces deep financial challenges after Russian missile strikes destroyed the nation’s most important oil refinery and depots, inflicting nationwide gas shortages.
Electricity provides are threatened after Russia occupied areas with many of the nation’s coal mines and seized management of one in all Ukraine’s 4 nuclear energy stations.
“Many factories and enterprises have stopped their production processes and cycles due to the fact that the Russian Federation today occupies about 20 per cent of our territory,” Danilov mentioned, saying Ukraine’s solely possibility was to outlast Russia.
“How long can Ukraine stay in this state? I can say long, very long. Although it will be very, very difficult for us,” he mentioned.
Danilov mentioned that in Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk “there is an advantage of the enemy in artillery . . . They pound there, pound and pound.”
“Unfortunately, we cannot now adequately respond in the same way, given that the weapons that we sorely need are lacking today.”
He mentioned Ukrainian forces might make an additional retreat from Sievierodonetsk and different cities within the area whereas they regroup.
“The temporary loss of territories is not a tragedy. The tragedy will be the loss of the country,” Danilov mentioned in an interview.
Danilov mentioned he was assured the western weapons wanted to launch a counter assault “will definitely arrive,” including he was “more than confident that we will regain our territories”.
The US mentioned final week it might provide Ukraine with new weapons, together with a number of launch rocket programs, as a part of a $40bn help package deal. The UK mentioned on Monday it might additionally give Ukraine M270 MLRS, which have a variety of as much as 80km, properly past the 25km vary of most Russian heavy artillery. Spain can be reportedly set to ship anti-aircraft missiles and Leopard A4 tanks from its munition reserves.
But the pace and scale of weapons deliveries has pissed off some in Kyiv, the place President Volodymyr Zelensky has mentioned Ukraine’s troops are outgunned 20 to 1 by Russian artillery and are dying at a price of as much as 100 a day, with 400 wounded.
Ukraine must kind six new brigades of 25,000 males for a counter-offensive to reclaim territory held by Russia within the east and south, together with a whole bunch of rocket launchers and artillery, planes and tanks in addition to hundreds of drones, one other adviser to Ukraine’s authorities on safety issues mentioned.
The MLRS programs from the US additionally include restricted ammunition and might solely hearth at an 80km vary somewhat than the 300km vary Ukraine needs to hit Russia’s provide strains.
Danilov mentioned western provides had already performed a vital function in holding again Russia’s preliminary blitzkrieg.
He expressed confidence that the influx of longer vary and heavier calibre weaponry “will continue . . . until we defeat Russia” and mentioned Ukraine’s continued defiance had “broken” issues in western capitals about offering extra highly effective arms.
Russia’s obvious willingness to sacrifice its personal troops for minor territorial positive aspects, nevertheless, has made it tougher for Ukraine’s forces to carry out, he added.
“Russia is a big country in size and it has a lot of this cannon fodder that they send here. And this process, it can’t be very fast,” Danilov mentioned.