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Ukraine’s slow counteroffensive serves to save troop lives, says deputy defense minister

Ukraine has liberated 300 square kilometers of territory from Russia since the start of its counteroffensive, but minimizing casualties as troops advance in difficult conditions has been its priority, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said.

In an interview with the international correspondent of CNN Frederik Pleitgen, Maliar said that Kiev’s counteroffensive progressed more slowly than anticipated, but this pace was designed to save the lives of troops.

“Contrary to military science, the Ukrainians took a risk and started an offensive when the enemy had more weapons and more people,” she said.

“Military science says you should do this when you have superiority. This is not possible in our situation. We have to fight as is.”

See also: Ukraine uses replica weapons to draw fire from Russia

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“It’s not about the number of kilometers released. It is about our forces being able to advance in these conditions.”

Maliar also claimed that the Russians were losing up to eight times more troops than the Ukrainians in the east of the country. A CNN was unable to independently verify the claim, but Western officials and independent analysts believe that Moscow has consistently suffered heavier losses.

The deputy minister also reiterated that the counteroffensive “is proceeding according to plan”, but said that Ukraine needs additional international support and repeated Ukrainian calls for more weapons and ammunition.

“The Ukrainian people are very grateful for all the support from Western countries. We realize that our victories are impossible without help from the West,” he added.

Despite the difficulties, Maliar believes in Ukraine’s ultimate success.

“We believe in our victory. We are in our land, there is no going back. We will defend our country until we liberate all our territories,” she said.

Source: CNN Brasil

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