Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov said in an interview with the BBC that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready to begin the counteroffensive. Danilov did not give an exact date, but added that the counterattack could start "tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week." The attack will take place only when it can lead to the maximum result.
Danilov stressed the importance of a successful counteroffensive. He warned that the Ukrainian government "has no room for error" because it is "a historic opportunity that should not be missed."
At the same time, the official rejected suggestions that the offensive had already begun. "The destruction of Russian command centers and military equipment has been our task from the very beginning of the invasion. There are no days off in the war," the NSDC secretary explained.
According to him, the Kyiv government needs to show Ukrainians and the Western allies that the Ukrainian Armed Forces can break through the Russian defense lines and regain control of the occupied territories.
Danilov also explained why the Ukrainian Armed Forces continued to fight for Bakhmut. "Bakhmut is our land, our territory, and we must defend it. If we start leaving every settlement, we will reach the western border. This is exactly what Putin wanted from the first days of the war," the NSDC secretary said.
He confirmed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces currently control a small part of Bakhmut but added that the battle for the city played a serious role in the war.
He confirmed that the Wagner mercenaries are handing over positions in Bakhmut to the Russian army and are leaving the city. "But this does not mean that they stopped fighting against us," Danilov said.