Ukraine wants to avoid winter war, says top presidential aide

KYIV, July 19 (Reuters) - Ukraine's top presidential aide said on Tuesday that Ukraine does not want the war to last into winter, as this would give Russian forces time to dig in and make any Ukrainian counter-offensive more difficult.

In an interview with Ukrainian magazine NV, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's chief of staff Andriy Yermak expressed hopes that the U.S. arms lend-lease to Ukraine will provide a sufficient quantity of weapons before winter to allow Ukrainian troops to achieve "victory" before then.

"It is very important for us not to enter the winter. After winter, when the Russians will have more time to dig in, it will certainly be more difficult," Yermak said.

Russia was trying to "drag" Ukraine into such a protracted conflict, Yermak said.

The Kremlin has said there is no time limit to a conflict it began on Feb. 24 and calls a "special military operation" to ensure its own security. read more Ukraine and the West condemn it as an unprovoked war of aggression.

Reporting by Max Hunder; editing by Grant McCool

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