Ukraine is telling critics of its slow counteroffensive against the Russian invasion to “shut up” in a heated response to their concerns. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba made his caustic remarks at a conference in Spain, dismissing the worries of those who have been questioning the lack of progress in pushing back the Russian war machine. Kuleba even went so far as to suggest that these critics should come to Ukraine and try their hand at liberating even just a square centimeter of Ukrainian soil themselves. Talk about throwing down the gauntlet!
But Kuleba didn’t stop there. He also used the platform to call on Germany to send long-range missiles and for more European nations to donate F-16 fighter jets. He argued that these acts would not only strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities but also allow them to clear the skies of Russian aircraft and effectively push back the invasion. It seems like Kuleba is making it clear that Ukraine needs all the help it can get and is ready to speak candidly, even if it means ruffling a few feathers.
Ukraine Again Falling Out With Allies Over Perceived Lack of Gratitude For Support https://t.co/MZWZEzaYC1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 2, 2023
This sharp response from Ukraine comes as the progress of their counteroffensive has become a sensitive issue on the global stage. President Zelensky himself has acknowledged that things are moving slower than desired but blamed foreign expectations for wanting instant results. He even took a swipe at Hollywood movies, suggesting that they paint an unrealistic picture of how war works. While that may be true to some extent, Ukraine’s frustration is understandable.
However, it is worth noting that such an unabashed response does come with risks. Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom was sacked over a similar incident, and the country’s relationship with Poland has also faced strain. These remarks might be seen as needlessly confrontational and could alienate some of Ukraine’s most enthusiastic allies. It’s a balancing act for Ukraine to maintain its strength and independence while also showing gratitude and diplomacy.
In the end, Ukraine is in a challenging position, facing a powerful and aggressive neighbor. While it’s no surprise that tensions are running high and emotions are flaring, it’s important for Ukraine to carefully navigate these diplomatic waters. Perhaps a measured approach, with a touch less bite, would help Ukraine maintain strong relationships with its allies while still effectively pushing against the Russian invasion.