Ukraine, May 05 (AFP)- Russia on Thursday said Western aid to Kyiv had slowed its offensive in Ukraine but would not thwart its victory, as conflicting reports emerged about efforts to rescue civilians from a besieged steel plant in the devastated city of Mariupol.

Nearly 10 weeks into a war that has left thousands of people dead, flattened Ukrainian cities and uprooted more than 13 million people, the Kremlin conceded that Western countries had prevented a “quick” end to Russia’s military campaign.

“The United States, Britain, NATO as a whole hand over intelligence... to Ukraine’s armed forces on a permanent basis,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“Coupled with the flow of weapons that these countries are sending to Ukraine, these are all actions that do not contribute to the quick completion of the operation,” he told reporters.

The outside help, nevertheless, was “incapable of hindering the achievement” of the goals of Russia’s military operation, he insisted.