Saturday, July 13, 2024

Russian defense chief says military fulfilled main goal of 2023 in Ukraine war

Thwarting Ukraine’s counteroffensive was the Russian military’s main goal in 2023 and it has been successfully fulfilled, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has claimed.

Russian forces are steadily moving towards achieving the goals of the country’s military operation in Ukraine, Shoigu said during a teleconference with top commanders on Tuesday.

The “main” goal in 2023 was “to thwart the much-hyped counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, announced by Ukraine and its NATO allies. This task had been successfully fulfilled”, he reported.

According to the minister, the key factors that allowed the Russian military to repel Ukrainian attempts to advance were “the creation of an effective system of defensive lines, the high combat capability of all units, the reliability and effectiveness of Russian military equipment”.

“And above all, the skillful and decisive actions of the defenders of the Fatherland, who are acting selflessly to ensure the safety of our country and its citizens,” he continued.

Speaking about the more recent events on the ground, Shoigu stressed the Russian military is “constantly taking more advantageous positions and expanding territories under its control in all directions” on the frontline.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced in late November that the Kiev’s forces would switch from attacking to building fortifications, acknowledging that the counteroffensive, which began in early June and aimed to cut Russia’s land bridge to Crimea, had ended without success.

According to Russian estimates, Ukraine has lost over 125,000 troops and 16,000 pieces of heavy equipment in its failed attempts to advance.

President Vladimir Putin and Shoigu have both said Russian forces have recaptured the initiative in the conflict. On Monday, the Defense Ministry confirmed the full capture of Maryinka, a key Ukrainian stronghold not from Donetsk, the capital of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic.

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