Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba lashed out at the critics of the country’s counteroffensive and said that criticising the slow pace of the military action equals ‘spitting into the face of Ukrainian soldiers’, speaking at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Toledo on Thursday.
« I would recommend all critics to shut up, come to Ukraine, and try to liberate one square centimetre by themselves, » Kuleba said.
His remarks come after US and Western officials have reportedly criticized the Ukrainian counteroffensive, saying that its army struggles to make progress because it has too many troops in the wrong place.
During his statement, the foreign minister urged the German government to provide more Taurus-range missiles to the Ukrainian army, something that France and the UK have already done, according to him, and said that ‘there is not a single objective argument’ for Berlin to not make the decision to liberate the weaponry.
« I kindly, without putting any pressure, call on the government of Germany to make this decision that makes every sense because it will help our counter-offensive and therefore it will help to end the war sooner, » he said.
Kuleba demanded more EU member states operating F-16 missiles to contribute to the aviation coalition, not just in training but also with equipment.
« When we win the war, I will come out and publicly say that we don’t need more. As long as we are fighting, we need more. You have to take it as it is. We are not doing it out of whim, or because we are greedy, or because we want to get more than we need. We need everything to win, » he affirmed.
Russia has repeatedly accused Western countries of escalating the Ukraine conflict with weapons deliveries, arguing supplies will prolong the fighting but won’t change the outcome. It has also condemned sanctions packages, saying they only affect those imposing them and people in vulnerable countries relying on exports.
Moscow launched the military offensive in Ukraine in late February 2022 after recognising the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), claiming that Kiev had failed to guarantee their special status under the 2014 Minsk Agreements, and urging Ukraine to declare itself officially neutral and give assurances that it would never join NATO.
Kiev denounced the Russian action as an invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky imposed martial law throughout the country, announcing a general mobilisation, while the EU and US imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow.