Zelenskiy says Ukraine can inflict significant damage on Russian forces

(Reuters) – Ukraine’s military has the potential to make gains on the battlefield and inflict significant losses on Russia, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday after meeting with senior commanders.

Zelenskiy, speaking in a late night video address, said the meeting discussed the supply of modern weapons, adding that the intensity of attacks on the Russians needed to be intensified.

“(We) agreed that our forces had the strong potential to advance on the battlefield and inflict significant further casualties on the occupiers,” he said.

Kyiv hopes that Western weapons, especially longer-range missiles such as the US HIMARS that Ukraine has deployed in recent weeks, will enable it to launch a counterattack and retake territory.

The Russian military is expected to begin something of an operational pause in the coming weeks, giving Kyiv a key opportunity to retaliate, Britain’s spy chief said on Thursday.

Zelenskiy said three people were killed when Russia shelled the eastern city of Kharkiv on Thursday.

“Each of these Russian attacks is an argument for Ukraine to receive more HIMARS and other modern and effective weapons. Each of these attacks only strengthens our desire to defeat the invaders and that will certainly happen.”

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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