President Zelenskyy's big claim: Long-anticipated Ukraine counteroffensive soon

S7 News

Rome: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a big announcement today revealed that the first important steps of a highly-anticipated military counteroffensive against Russian forces would be taken soon. Zelenskyy said this as he met with European partners providing his country with weapons, CNN reported.

Speaking with reported in Rome after the meetings with Italy's PM Giorgia Meloni and his Italian counterpart, Zelenskyy said that the Ukrainian forces were preparing very seriously for the counter measures.

"I cannot tell you (when) but you will definitely see it and Russia will definitely feel it," he said, adding, "We believe in victory and believe that the first important steps will be taken soon." Last week, senior US and Western military officials told CNN that Ukrainian forces had started "shaping" operations ahead of the counteroffensive.

Italy promises contant support to Ukraine

After a "long and fruitful" discussion with Zelenskyy on Saturday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni promised constant support for Ukraine and added that Rome would back any future application by Kyiv to join NATO. 

Meloni said that his country is ready to support a further intensification of Ukraine's partnership with NATO, and that Italy will discuss it in Vilnius at the July summit, and it will probably be the central theme of the meet.

Earlier, the Ukrainian leader also met Pope Francis, who has been open in his support for putting an end to the violence in Ukraine. Zelenskyy and Francis discussed the humanitarian and political crisis in Ukraine during their meeting at the Vatican on Saturday. As per a statement from the Vatican press office, the Pope offered his "constant prayer," reported CNN.

Last week Zelenskyy had said that Ukraine needed a little more time before launching the counteroffensive in order to let some additional delivery of the promised Western military supplies, as per CNN.

Germany's additional USD 3 billion in military aid

Germany is among Ukraine's Western supporters, where he landed on Sunday, his first trip there since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine started in February.

in a tweet he wrote, "Already in Berlin. Weapons. Powerful package. Air defence. Reconstruction. EU. NATO. Security."

The German Defence Ministry announced on Saturday that it would give Ukraine an additional USD 3 billion in military aid, including 30 tanks.

This came after a significant policy reversal by Berlin earlier this year, when it said it would give Kyiv Leopard 2 assault tanks. Due to Berlin's long-standing policy of not delivering lethal weapons to conflict areas, Germany originally resisted requests to arm Ukraine, CNN reported.

(with ANI inputs)


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