Ukraine Offensive 6-9 Months Behind Schedule Due to Slow Arms Delivery: Official

Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia is six to nine months behind schedule due to delays in Western weapons deliveries, a top advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

Mykhailo Podolyak, known for his blunt remarks on defense, recently told Channel 24 that weapons deliveries were delayed by three to four months due to the slow approval of Western nations.

He blamed allies for not reacting soon enough to Ukraine’s pleas, which he said “seriously hampered” the country’s defense capabilities.

“If Ukraine had received weapons faster, we could have defended ourselves better and launched a counterattack,” Podolyak stated, as quoted by Kyiv Post.

He added that the promised defense items only arrived when the counteroffensive was already underway.

Podolyak sparked controversy when he criticized India for its “weak intellectual potential” and lack of understanding of the modern world. He also slammed a Chinese diplomat for an “absurd” statement about the status of former Soviet states.

‘Well Below Pledges’

Podolyak’s remarks supported Zelensky’s previous statement about slow weapons deliveries hampering the spring counteroffensive.

He admitted to wanting the offensive to start much earlier to prevent the Russians from laying anti-tank mines in larger areas.

According to Ukraine support tracker the Kiel Institute, actual weapons deliveries to the war-torn nation have been well below what was initially pledged by Western allies.

It further stated that only about half of the equipment promised actually arrived in Kyiv as of July 2023.

“Military pledges gain in importance with the duration of the war and Ukraine’s offensive plans,” Kiel Institute head Christoph Trebesch said. “But the gap between promised and delivered military aid is wide.”

Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces attend tactical, combat and first aid training course during Russia's military invasion
Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces attend tactical, combat and first aid training course during Russia’s military invasion launched on Ukraine, in Kharkiv on April 7, 2022. Photo: AFP

Specific Countries Identified

Despite being Ukraine’s top donors, the tracker said the US, the UK, and Germany were fast to increase their aid commitments but slow on actual deliveries.

In contrast, Eastern European countries like the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, and Slovakia have delivered at least 80 percent of their promised weapons.

Denmark has also fulfilled most of its pledges, including the 14 MiG-29 fighter jets that are now operational in Ukraine.

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