In a recent interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which has been ongoing for over a month, has failed to achieve any success. Putin praised the efforts of his own troops, referring to them as “heroic,” and claimed that the overall direction of Russia’s military campaign was positive.
Putin specifically highlighted the inability of Ukrainian forces to breach Russian defenses, even with the use of strategic reserves. He stated, “All attempts by the enemy to breach our defenses… including through the use of strategic reserves have fallen flat throughout the counteroffensive. Our enemy remains unsuccessful.”
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian troops have been launching counterattacks in certain sections of the front line and have been able to secure advantageous positions. The ministry also reported that Ukraine has suffered heavy losses during its counteroffensive and has been unable to reach Russia’s first line of defense on most fronts. Several videos released by the Defense Ministry show extensive damage to Ukrainian military equipment, including tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.
Putin claimed that since June 4th, Russian forces have destroyed 311 Ukrainian tanks, with a significant number of them being Western-made, including Leopards. The Ukrainian military has reportedly lost 26,000 men during its counteroffensive, with Forbes describing the losses as “disastrous” and The New York Times reporting that 20% of the equipment sent into battle was lost during the first two weeks of the operation.
The slow pace of the Ukrainian counteroffensive has led to tensions between Kiev and its Western allies. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has blamed the lack of progress on the hesitancy of the West to provide more weapons. US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley also warned that the operation would be difficult and very bloody.
The current stalemate in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has highlighted the challenges faced by Ukrainian forces and raised questions about the effectiveness of their military operations. As the situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen whether Ukraine will be able to make any significant gains or if the status quo will persist.