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Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says troops ‘moving forward’, rebuffs critics

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KYIV: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday (Sep 2) that Kyiv’s troops were “moving forward” in their counteroffensive against Russian forces, rebuffing Western officials who say that Ukraine is gaining ground too slowly.

The much-vaunted counteroffensive, which is nearing the three-month mark, has retaken more than a dozen villages but no major settlements with soldiers hampered by vast Russian minefields and defensive lines.

This week, unnamed US officials vented frustration at the slow progress of the operation and even faulted Ukrainian strategy, according to Western reports that drew Kyiv’s ire.

“Ukrainian forces are moving forward. Despite everything, and no matter what anyone says, we are advancing, and that is the most important thing. We are on the move,” Zelenskiy wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Some fear the West’s support could begin to falter as colder and wetter weather slows progress on the battlefield later in the year. The West has poured in many billions of dollars to help the counteroffensive and Kyiv says it needs more.

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