Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleskii Reznikov admitted that Kyiv's counteroffensive is behind schedule, but insisted he is "not worried" because it is going according to plan, adding that it was a “misconception that every counteroffensive should be quick."
Reznikov listed a few reasons why the counteroffensive may be slower than anticipated, including ammunition, artillery shells and artillery systems. "It's a question of air defense. It's a question that we have a very long battlefield line also. And we have against us big quantity of enemies. So it’s war, it’s not a computer game," the defense minister said in an interview with CNN over the weekend in Kyiv.
The official said, “our generals, our commanders, they see the real situation on the battlefield. And again, I have to repeat the main value for us is the life of for our soldiers.”
The situation on the southern front in Ukraine has been slowed largely due to intricate minefields laid by Russian forces who were given time to build up defenses. Ukrainian forces have had to resort to clearing, by hand, paths through the fields, Reznikov said.
The minister said the Russians have "serious security zones with the mines" and that it "very difficult to break through."
"We need to use our soldiers, sappers, deminers very slowly, and very slowly preparing the corridors for the real offensive movement," Reznikov said, adding this activity in different places would confuse Russians on the main direction that Ukraine would take.