Czech president says Ukraine shouldn't rush counteroffensive

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Czech President Petr Pavel, former chair of the NATO Military Committee, said in his interview with the Guardian that he had warned the leadership of Ukraine against a rushed counteroffensive.

He added that while Ukrainian top military commanders “still have a feeling that they do not have everything to start successfully an operation,” a poorly planned counteroffensive could turn into a disaster.

“Because it might be a temptation to push them, for some, to demonstrate some results,” Pavel said. “It will be extremely harmful to Ukraine if this counteroffensive fails, because they will not have another chance, at least not this year.”

At the same time, on May 3, the U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken said during World Press Freedom Day, hosted by the Washington Post, that Ukraine is better positioned to move forward with its expected counteroffensive against Russia than U.S. intelligence documents earlier indicated.

He added that Ukraine has a high chance of returning the territories occupied by Russia, despite a number of military challenges.

“Where Ukraine might have been a month ago, two months ago, three months ago, it is not now in terms of its ability to, for example, pursue a counteroffensive and deal with ongoing Russian aggression," Blinken said.

Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov told British newspaper The Independent that Ukraine's current defense of the strategic city of Bakhmut is a "key moment" in preparing the country for a counteroffensive.