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Ukrainian Foreign Minister To Critics: ‘Shut Up’
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 17: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks to the media before a United Nations (UN) Security Council meeting on Ukraine on July 17, 2023 in New York City. The ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council is in regard to Russia's recent actions against Ukraine and an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had some choice words for critics of his country’s counter-offensive against Russia: Shut up.

“Criticizing the slow pace of, uh, counter-offensive equals to spitting into the face of a Ukrainian soldier who sacrifices his life every day moving forward and liberating one kilometer of Ukrainian soil after another,” Kuleba said Thursday. “I would recommend all critics to shut up, come to Ukraine and try to liberate one square centimeter by themselves.”

His remarks come as The Wall Street Journal reported that the counter-offensive has supposedly pierced Russia’s defensive line several hundred miles northeast of Crimea after months of struggling to make any advances at all.

The Journal noted that “any breakthrough” would be a welcome sign for Ukraine, which has struggled since it began the counteroffensive earlier this summer. Meanwhile, The New York Times reported earlier this month that an estimated 500,000 Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have died in the war.

The ultimate goal of the counter-offensive is to retake Crimea and sever the landbridge with Russia, as reported by The Washington Post earlier this month. But even U.S. intelligence has said that such a move seems unlikely anytime this year.

Since that report came out, the U.S. has shifted its tone with reporters about what its objectives are with Ukraine.


“We need to finish this job,” a senior State Department official told reporters. “It’s in our fundamental interest to see and have Ukraine maintain its territorial integrity and for Europe to maintain its stability as our largest trading partner … [and] the most important partner, in terms of our projection of our power and our influence around the world, on global issues that span much broader than Europe.”

Since the war began, Americans have been left wondering what  the Biden administration means when it says it will support Ukraine “as long as it takes.”

“It’s very important that Ukraine win this war,” the State Department official added. “And by ‘win,’ I mean as President Biden said, Russians leave all of Ukraine.”

How long will that take? Nobody has given a definitive answer, and Russia has indicated that giving up all territory taken so far is a non-starter.

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