Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don on Thursday. The visit was to be briefed on the ongoing military operation against Ukraine. Putin held a closed-door meeting with high-ranking commanders, including Army General Valery Gerasimov, the head of the General Staff.
The Kremlin Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed the visit, revealing that Putin arrived in Rostov-on-Don while returning from Perm, where he attended a national sports forum. Peskov stated that Gerasimov briefed the president on the progress of the military operation against Kiev. Other top defense officials also had discussions with Putin, although specific details were not disclosed.
A video released by Russian media showed Putin disembarking from his plane in Rostov-on-Don and being greeted by Gerasimov. The general stated that the “joint group of forces [in Ukraine] is carrying out missions in accordance with the plan of the operation.”
This visit is not the first time Putin has met with military commanders at the Rostov-on-Don headquarters. He previously visited in August and March. The Rostov Region shares a border with Russia’s frontline Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which have been targeted by Ukrainian missile and drone attacks in recent months.
The meeting between Putin and the military commanders coincides with an ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive since June. Speaking earlier this month, Putin criticized Kiev’s lack of progress and claimed they had suffered significant losses. He estimated that more than 90,000 Ukrainian troops have been casualties since the start of the push.
The situation in Ukraine remains tense, with both sides engaged in military operations. Russia has been accused of supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine, resulting in heightened tensions between Russia and Western nations. The conflict has led to the imposition of economic sanctions on Russia as well.
As the conflict continues, there are concerns about the humanitarian situation and the impact on civilians in the affected regions. Efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict have so far been unsuccessful, with both sides unwilling to compromise.
The international community has called for a ceasefire and negotiations to end the conflict. Diplomatic efforts, including talks between Russia, Ukraine, and other stakeholders, have been ongoing, but progress has been limited.
In conclusion, President Putin’s visit to the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don was aimed at receiving an update on the ongoing military operation against Ukraine. The visit highlights the continued tension and fighting in the region and the challenges of finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict.