Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Ukraine needs more time before it can launch its much-anticipated counter-offensive against Russia, adding that some armoured vehicles promised by the west have yet to arrive.

The president said newly formed brigades were ready to attack. “We can go forward and be successful. But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable. So we need to wait. We still need a bit more time.”

Zelenskiy’s comments in an interview with several media outlets including the BBC are the clearest sign yet that a major Ukrainian military push is unlikely to take place in the next few weeks.

Ukrainian commanders have said Kyiv still lacks vital weapons needed for a large-scale campaign to succeed. They include artillery systems with a range of 190 miles (300km), capable of hitting Russian ammunition stores and command centres.

They are increasingly concerned that if the counter-offensive makes only modest territorial gains, Ukraine’s western partners will put pressure on Kyiv to accept an unfavourable peace deal with Moscow.

Zelenskiy said Ukraine was not prepared to cede any land for “peace”. He stressed: “Everyone will have an idea. They can’t pressure Ukraine into surrendering territories. Why should any country of the world give [Vladimir] Putin its territory?”