Ukraine’s counteroffensive to recapture occupied territories is failing even with Western military support, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
“Today it’s clear that the Kyiv regime’s Western curators are disappointed with the results of the so-called counteroffensive,” Putin said at a meeting of Russia’s Security Council.
“There are no results, at least not yet,” he told senior government and security officials.
Putin said the diminishing number of Western tanks, artillery, armored vehicles and missiles supplied to Ukraine, as well as “thousands of foreign mercenaries and advisers,” have not helped Kyiv achieve military objectives.
Without providing evidence, the Russian president claimed that “tens of thousands” of Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and wounded in the offensive.
Moscow continues to withhold its own military casualties, with its most recent disclosure of nearly 6,000 soldiers killed made in September 2022.
Ukraine’s forces have recaptured 300 square kilometers of occupied land as part of their summer counteroffensive, Britain’s defense minister said last month.
The commander of Ukraine's ground forces this week admitted that the battlefield situation in eastern Ukraine was “complicated.”
Putin’s remarks diminishing the Ukrainian forces while praising his army’s “professionalism” comes amid the fallout from the Russian Wagner mercenary outfit’s mutiny attempt.
Media reports have indicated major purges within the Russian military’s senior leadership after Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s failed June 23-24 march toward Moscow.
During his Security Council address, Putin claimed certain Soviet weapons are far superior than those supplied to Ukraine by Western allies.
“The entire West sees that their praised equipment burns perfectly well and is even inferior to Soviet machines in some respects,” he said.
Putin further claimed, without providing evidence, that public opinion in Ukraine and Europe was “gradually and slowly” changing in favor of Russia’s preferred outcome of holding peace talks and letting Moscow retain control of occupied territories.
The Security Council session was held with senior cabinet members, heads of security agencies and parliamentary leaders.
Putin billed the videoconference as a meeting on Russian-African ties ahead of next week’s summit and national security in the IT sector.