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‘Not too late’ for Ukraine to win war, NATO chief says

The head of NATO has said it is “not too late” for Ukraine to win against Russia despite Moscow’s mounting advances, promising more Western help is on its way.

“I know that serious delays in support have serious consequences on the battlefield…. But it’s not too late for Ukraine to prevail,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told a joint-press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to Kyiv.

“More support is on the way,” he added.

Mr Zelensky said Russia was taking advantage of delays in Western arms supplies to go on the offensive, saying quicker deliveries from allies would bolster the frontline.

“Together we must disrupt the Russian offensive,” he said at the press conference, adding: “Promptness in supply literally means stabilisation of the frontline”.

He said that vital US weapons were starting to arrive in Ukraine in small amounts and that the process needed to move faster as advancing Russian forces were trying to take advantage.

“Timely support for our army. Today I don’t see anything positive on this point yet. There are supplies, they have slightly begun, this process needs to be sped up,” he said.

The US passed a $61 billion aid package last week, ending months of congressional deadlock and raising hopes in Kyiv that its critically low stocks of artillery shells would soon be replenished.

Ukraine’s top commander said yesterday that his troops had pulled back from three villages in the east where Russian forces are on the offensive and gradually taking ground.

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“The Russian army is now trying to take advantage of a situation when we are waiting for supplies from our partners… and that is exactly why the speed of deliveries means stabilising the front,” Mr Zelensky said.

“Russia is preparing for offensive actions,” he added.

The Ukrainian leader also singled out the need for supplies of sophisticated Patriot air defence launch systems that Kyiv wants to obtain from its allies to counter Russia’s long-range missile and drone strikes.

He said Kyiv had made some progress in obtaining supplies of missiles for the Patriot system, but that it was still working on the question of obtaining new launchers that fire the missiles.

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