Zelensky said that progress in the counteroffensive is “slower than desired”

Anhelina Sheremet

President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted that progress in the counteroffensive is "slower than desired".

He stated this in an interview with the BBC.

“Some people think itʼs a Hollywood movie and are waiting for the results now. It is not. Peopleʼs lives are at stake," Zelensky added.

According to him, the counteroffensive is not easy because the Russians mined 200 000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory.

"No matter what anyone wants, including attempts to pressure us, with all due respect, we will advance on the battlefield as we see fit," the President emphasized.

Zelensky also stated again that Ukraine needs to be given security guarantees by NATO, but said that the ultimate goal is membership in the defense alliance.

“[Jens] Stoltenberg knows my position. We told them many times: ʼDonʼt knock the ground out from under our feet,ʼ" Zelensky added.

Also, according to him, training on American F-16 fighters could begin as early as August, and the first planes could arrive in six or seven months.

  • The Ukrainian counteroffensive continues. The Defense Forces have already liberated eight settlements in the south: Pyatykhatky, Lobkove, Levadne, Novodarivka, Neskuchne, Storozheve, Makarivka, and Blahodatne.
  • As of June 21, the Defense Forces are continuing their offensive in the Melitopol and Berdyansk directions, namely: Novodanilivka — Robotyne, Mala Tokmachka — Verbove, Vilne Pole — Makarivka, they have had partial success, and are entrenched at the achieved lines.