Ukrainian Armed Forces are positioned between the second and third lines of defence of Russian occupying forces, and Ukraine currently has a plan to liberate its territories from Russian occupiers by 2024. This was stated by the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Rustem Umerov, in an interview with Fox News.
He noted that Ukraine has already reclaimed half of the territories occupied by Russia since the full-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022. Responding to questions about the slow progress in the counteroffensive since June, Umerov invited critics to visit the combat zone and assess the situation for themselves.
“We have de-occupied 50% of our territory, we are defeating Russia on our land, reclaimed the territory, liberated it. Now we have a plan for 2024,” said the minister. “We are well-prepared,” Umerov emphasized.
The head of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine highlighted that returning to the borders of 1991 remains a strategic victory for Ukraine. He also mentioned Ukraine’s plans to join NATO, stating that all calculations for the next year, acquisitions, and operational planning are done according to NATO standards.
Emphasizing that Ukraine’s victory involves reclaiming all internationally recognized territories, including the Crimean Peninsula, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions, Umerov dismissed the possibility of a negotiated settlement. He argued that such an outcome would be “a disgrace for the civilized world,” allowing authoritarian regimes to consider democratic countries incapable of self-defence.
“Their goal is to eliminate the existence of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and we are defending against that,” said the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Umerov. He added that combating authoritarian regimes aligns with the national interest of the United States.
Recall that in September, the commander of the operational-strategic group of forces “Tavria,” Oleksandr Tarnavsky, announced that Ukrainian forces had breached the first line of Russia’s defence in the Zaporizhzhia region. According to him, it was the main line of defence for the occupiers.
There was also information that Ukrainian soldiers had reached the second line of Russia’s defence in the areas of the settlements of Robotyne and Verbove in the Zaporizhzhia region. However, there was no information about a breakthrough. On February 24, 2022, Russia committed a heinous full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This attack marked the culmination of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, which began with the occupation and annexation of Crimea in 2014.