Moscow’s forces are now improving their position everywhere on the battlefield, the defense minister has said
Thwarting Ukraine’s counteroffensive was the Russian military’s main goal this year and it has been successfully fulfilled, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said.
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 added.
Speaking about the more recent events on the ground, Shoigu said the Russian military is “constantly taking more advantageous positions and expanding territories under its control in all directions.” on the frontline.
Ukrainian President Vladimir 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 Defense Minister 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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