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Zelensky: 'We need to wait' before launching crucial counteroffensive

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country needs more time before launching its crucial counteroffensive against Russia, as it awaits additional weapons, such as armored vehicles, that are arriving from Western allies "in batches."

"With what we have we can go forward," Zelensky told BBC News, alluding to arms equipment already in the country's possession, "and I think we can be successful. But we will lose a great many people ... I think that's impossible. So we need to wait. We need some more time," he said, per The Wall Street Journal

As noted by The New York Times, it is not clear if Zelensky's comments "were an attempt at misdirection" in an already surprise-filled war.

For months, Ukraine has been preparing its soldiers for the highly anticipated counterattack, which hopes to capitalize on weakened and depleted Russian forces and reclaim land Moscow has held, in some instances, since the start of the conflict. The exact details of the push are confidential, but the effort will be viewed as "a crucial test" of the nation's "ability to use Western military aid to redraw the battle lines and show its Western partners that it can take back territory if given enough support," the Journal writes.

Other officials in the Ukrainian government have, in recent weeks, echoed the president's concerns regarding the counteroffensive, seemingly in an attempt at lowering expectations and making clear the push might not end the broader conflict. "The expectation from our counteroffensive campaign is overestimated in the world," Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told The Washington Post in an early May interview. "Most people are ... waiting for something huge," which may lead to "emotional disappointment."

Should efforts indeed fail, there's a chance Kyiv may be pressured into furthering peace negotiations with Moscow, which could involve land concessions, BBC News notes. "Everyone will have an idea," Zelensky told the outlet. "[But] they can't pressure Ukraine into surrendering territories. Why should any country of the world give Putin its territory?"