President Putin says the Ukrainian counter-offensive has failed as Russian Defence Ministry estimates 66,000 Ukrainians killed in action and 7,600 pieces of Western heavy weaponry destroyed
Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive has not “stalled” but failed, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared on Monday. With Ukrainian losses mounting and Kiev ramping up its conscription efforts, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu affirmed his commander-in-chief’s assessment.
The Ukrainian operation “is not stalled; it is a failure,” Putin declared, following talks with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the resort city of Sochi.
“At least, this is how it looks today,” he continued. “Let’s see what happens next. I hope this will continue to be the case.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shiogu reported on Tuesday in a meeting with military leadership that Ukraine has suffered heavy losses during the three months of its summer counteroffensive against Russia but has failed to achieve its goals at any part of the front line.
Kiev’s forces have lost more than 66,000 troops and over 7,600 heavy weapons since launching their push in early June, the Russian official estimated on Tuesday.
Despite the “colossal” cost in manpower and equipment, the Ukrainian government continues its operation because it desperately needs to show some kind of success to its Western sponsors, Shoigu also claimed.
The most tense situation remains in Zaporozhye Region, where Kiev deployed brigades from its strategic reserves that had been trained with the help of Western instructors, the minister said.
The Ukrainian military is relying on lighter and more mobile infantry units to seize individual buildings and positions. However, losses remain high, and with Russian forces effectively countering these advances with drone-corrected artillery fire, Kiev is urgently seeking to draft more troops.
Ukraine has loosened its medical requirements for military service and is reportedly considering extraditing draft dodgers who managed to flee the country since last February.
In separate remarks to the media on Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu confirmed Putin’s assessment of the counteroffensive. “Today everything is exactly as our president said,” Shoigu declared. The minister noted that the Ukrainian military has “for the last ten days at least” been carrying out “violent attacks with large forces,” but has not managed to break Russia’s defenses.
Much of the fighting over the last two weeks has centered around the village of Rabotino, located in the Zaporozhye sector of the front and near the city of Artyomovsk/Bakhmut in the Donetsk Region. Although Kiev and its Western backers claim to be making incremental progress at Rabotino, The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that it repelled a Ukrainian attack on the village the previous night, killing up to 115 Ukrainian troops and destroying multiple armored vehicles and US-made artillery guns.