Zelensky Criticizes Slow Pace of US Military Aid to Ukraine

Kiev now has 14 underequipped brigades, lacking weaponry due to the slow delivery of Western hardware, Vladimir Zelensky says

Ukraine has the “desire” to launch a new counteroffensive push against Russia but lacks the means to do so, Vladimir Zelensky has claimed, blaming the situation on the allegedly slow flow of military aid from his Western backers.

Speaking to Bloomberg on Thursday, Zelensky refused to describe the frontline situation as a “stalemate,” stating instead that it remains “problematic.” Ukraine, however, is lacking enough tools to solve the cited “problems,” staying focused on defensive operations rather than launching a new counteroffensive push against Russia.

“We have the desire [to launch a counteroffensive], but the tools have not arrived. That is, we have brigades without weapons, we have reserves, we have 14 under-armed brigades that do not have the appropriate weaponry,” Zelensky claimed. While the Ukrainian leader did not give exact numbers, he was apparently talking of at least 40,000-strong forces in reserve.

Zelensky then complained about the “slow” delivery of Western-made hardware to fill in the equipment shortages, claiming that already-pledged systems were not getting delivered swiftly enough.

The packages that have already been voted-on and talked-about must arrive but, unfortunately, they’re coming slowly. We are grateful to the [US] Congress for their support and all, but everything must be delivered.

Ukraine launched its long-heralded counteroffensive push against Russia early last June upon receiving a lot of sophisticated hardware from its Western backers. The push flopped, yielding minor territorial gains coupled with heavy personnel and hardware losses.

Ukraine’s subpar battlefield performance during the ultimately disastrous counteroffensive was followed by a months-long deadlock in the US Congress. Last October, the White House requested $61 billion for Ukraine as part of a national security funding bill.

The bill has been left in limbo, falling victim to domestic political struggles and getting through the legislature only in late April. Ukraine has openly blamed the lack of US funding for a string of defeats on the battlefield.

US President Joe Biden has repeatedly scolded the lawmakers over their inability to approve the package, offering his apology to Zelensky last month. “I apologize for those weeks of not knowing what’s going to happen in terms of funding,” Biden said at the time, blaming the delay of half a year on “some of our very conservative members” of Congress.