Ukraine continues to inflict “heavy losses” on Russia after some of the “most intense” fighting since the war began in February 2022, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.
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“The Ukrainians were able to inflict heavy losses on the Russian invaders, both in terms of soldiers and combat capabilities,” Stoltenberg said in a press conference, adding that these military losses occurred during the past few weeks.
Since Kiev launched its counteroffensive in the spring, Ukrainian forces have been unable to achieve any decisive breakthrough, which has alarmed some allied countries.
But for the NATO chief, “even though the front line had not moved,” Ukrainian forces remained highly effective on the battlefield.
He explained: “We have to differentiate between the fact that the front line is not moving significantly and the fact that very violent fighting is taking place.”
He stressed that Ukraine continues to fight “courageously” and “we continue to support it,” adding that in November, Germany and the Netherlands, for example, granted ten billion euros in aid to Kiev, and that allies, including the United States, were sending More anti-aircraft defense systems to protect residents.
Kiev also claims to have regained its position a few weeks ago on the left bank of the Dnieper River, in the south of the country.
The consolidation of Ukrainian positions on this side of the Dnieper River, confirmed by professional Russian bloggers and military experts, could constitute the largest advance by the Ukrainian army in several months.
When asked about the risk that Kiev would find itself forced to negotiate with Moscow in the event of a reduction in Western military support, Stoltenberg reiterated that it was up to Ukraine “to decide what is acceptable to end the war.”
“Our responsibility is to support Ukraine and allow it to liberate as much territory as possible and put it in the best possible position, when or if negotiations begin,” he stressed.