Ukraine has forced Russia to reduce the scale of its targets to the operational and tactical level and is entering a long phase of the war.
Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said this in a Facebook post, Ukrinform reports.
"By May 9, Russia suffered a strategic defeat - it could not destroy the Ukrainian state by military intervention and change of power with Russian puppets. We forced it to reduce the scale of targets to the operational and tactical level. Against this background, we are entering a new, long phase of the war. In order to win it, we must carefully plan resources, avoid mistakes and project our strength so that the enemy finally fails to hold up," he wrote.
Reznikov noted that after an open full-scale Russian attack on February 24, Moscow was planning -- and many in the West shared the view -- that Ukraine will capitulate in a few days. The Kremlin hoped to establish a new, "Russian" system on Ukrainian territory in a few weeks.
However, Ukrainian defenders and all people of Ukraine repulsed the occupiers and thwarted these plans.
"They fled from the Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy regions and set new goals - to capture the south and east of Ukraine. But this did not happen again. Thanks to the mass heroism of our soldiers, the unity of Ukrainians, international support, Ukraine survived," Reznikov wrote.
He stressed that the defenders of Mariupol - marines, National Guard soldiers, including from the Azov Regiment, Mariupol territorial defense battalion, border guards, police, intelligence, SBU fighters – gave Ukraine more time and saved many lives.
Defense forces in the area of the Joint Forces Operation, as well as in the Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv regions restrained the onslaught of the enemy. Izium, Popasna, Rubizhne, Avdiivka, Marinka are the real cities of the heroes and places of military glory of Ukrainians, Reznikov said.
The resistance movement in Melitopol, Kherson and other settlements is an important contribution to the common victory, the minister said.