Ukraine updates: Counteroffensive needs time, Zelenskyy says

A planned counteroffensive against Russian forces will have to wait until the military has had more time to prepare, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. Meanwhile, the EU and G7 are discussing sanctions. DW has the latest.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country needs more time to prepare for an anticipated counteroffensive against occupying Russian forces.

In an interview on Thursday with public service broadcasters that are members of the Eurovision News exchange, Zelenskyy said the military is still waiting on certain equipment like armored vehicles.

“With [what we have] we can go forward and be successful,” Zelenskyy said. “But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable. So we need to wait. We still need a bit more time.”

Ukraine has reportedly been gearing up for a counteroffensive for months.

Officials in Kyiv have tried to lower expectations about the operation in recent weeks.

In comments published by Germany’s Bild magazine on Wednesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the counteroffensive likely won’t be the last.

He said if the counteroffensive doesn’t achieve Kyiv’s goal of liberating all Ukrainian territory, “it means we have to prepare for the next counteroffensive.”

Here are some of the other notable developments concerning Russia’s war in Ukraine on Thursday, May 11:

Britain sent long-range missiles to Ukraine: reports

The United Kingdom has supplied Ukraine with Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles, according to news reports on Thursday.

The news was first reported by CNN, which cited multiple unnamed Western officials.

Storm Shadow is an air-launched missile with a range of more than 250 kilometers (155.34 miles), according to its manufacturer MBDA. It’s designed for attacks against high value targets such as hardened bunkers and key infrastructure.

The report said the UK had received assurances from Kyiv that the missiles would only be used inside Ukrainian territory.

When questioned about the reports on Thursday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the delivery of long-range missiles would require “an adequate response from our military.”

Germany proposes ‘Not for Russia’ export clause

Germany’s ambassador to the European Union has called for tougher regulations to prevent companies from outside the bloc from circumventing sanctions against Russia.

The proposal was presented at negotiations over the 11th round of sanctions in Brussels on Wednesday.

It would require importers to provide written assurance that they will only resell the goods in question to other companies that sign a “Not for Russia” clause.

The proposal would apply to goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes, sources told Germany’s DPA news agency, such as night vision devices and drones.

Japan to pledge funds for Ukrainian refugees

Japan is set to announce a $1 billion (€915 million) in funding to help countries surrounding Ukraine accept war refugees, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Thursday.

The funding would come via the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), which typically offers assistance in the form of lending, guarantees and equity investment.

It comes as the country hosts G7 finance talks over three days in Niigata. The ministers are also set to discuss ways to prevent the circumvention of sanctions against Russia.

“We want to accelerate international cooperation needed to overcome difficult a crisis global economy faces,” Suzuki said.

Russia ‘far away’ from achieving goals

Russia is still “far away” from achieving its goals in Ukraine, according to the Kremlin.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed Moscow has prioritized protecting civilians and has avoided attacking civilian infrastructure — despite numerous bombardments of Ukraine’s energy and water infrastructure in recent months.

“In part we have succeeded in fulfilling this task, but in part we are still far from it,” Peskov said in an interview with Bosnian television on Wednesday.

Peskov explained the lack of visible success by claiming that Russia was not waging war. The Kremlin still refers to the invasion as a “special military operation.”

“Waging war is something completely different, it means the total destruction of infrastructure, the total destruction of cities. We are not doing that,” Peskov said.

zc/sms (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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