Oleksiy Reznikov maintains his words in which he claims that the war will be over by the end of the year. The Ukrainian defense minister also revealed that NATO is realistic about Ukraine’s plans. – In my opinion, our strikes will be several, but their direction, intensity and time will be determined by the general staff – he added.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov recalled the first days of the Russian attack on his country in an interview with “Gazeta Wyborcza”. The politician revealed that on February 24, 2022, he received a phone call from General Valery Załużny, who woke him up and said that the Russians had struck.

“The first three days – or maybe more – merged into one, with almost no sleep,” he said.

Oleksiy Reznikov said that thanks to supplies from the West, Ukraine already has “adequate artillery potential”. – We call it an “artillery zoo”, because the systems come from different countries, including the effective Polish Crabs – he pointed out. The Ukrainian also described the tactics that the Russians used, taking into account the help received by the Ukrainian side.

– They marked out a narrow section of the front line where they concentrated their efforts. In the first place, they used the Wagner Group – well-prepared and paid mercenaries, who were additionally reinforced with recruited criminals. I don’t feel sorry for these people, they’re regular cannon fodder. They storm our positions in small groups – 10 to 20 people, who come in waves, one after the other. They even go without bulletproof vests, so they die, but the next ones who follow them move forward a few meters – the interlocutor told “GW”. The Ukrainian defense minister noted that such a creeping offensive is also taking place around Bakhmut.

Oleksiy Reznikov recalled that there is an internal dispute in the Kremlin among the military command and defense ministers, and “Putin’s cook” is the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin .

– That’s why I believe that the offensive is in full swing – only that their plan was to break the front in the Bakhmut area and disperse the attack with full-scale air, artillery and armored forces to occupy the entire Donetsk and Luhansk regions. It is important for them from a political point of view, the Ukrainian pointed out. Reznikov added that the losses suffered by the Russians in the area of ​​Bakhmut are crazy. There are supposed to be 500 killed or wounded on the side of Putin’s army a day.

– Hence the principled decision of our command: to hold Bakhmut despite our own losses. Because its defense limits the capabilities of the Russians and gives us stability along the entire front line.

Reznikov also addressed comments that Bakhmut should not be defended at all costs. – I would advise you to look carefully at the map. The city and the hills that are next to it are a convenient area to defend – he stressed. He added that if Ukraine withdrew, it would have to look for another place to defend itself, where there is no such well-formed terrain.

Reznikov, when asked by “GW” whether his earlier words that the war would be ended by the end of the year are still valid, replied that “absolutely nothing has changed”. – I am an optimist by nature, but also a professional lawyer, so I do not formulate my assessments based on wishful thinking, but on facts – he noted.

The Minister of Defense of Ukraine also stated that counter-strike corps are currently being formed. He added that NATO generals claim that Ukraine’s plans are realistic.

– In my opinion, our strikes will be several, but their direction, intensity and time will be determined by the general staff. Now the spring ground is muddy, wheeled equipment will not pass. That’s why we have to wait,” he said.