"The Kyiv regime, despite their huge losses, has been trying to conduct the so-called counteroffensive for the third month already. The armed forces of Ukraine did not achieve their goals on any part of the front line," the minister told senior defense officials. He also said that the Russian troops are active "along the entire line of contact."
Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in June to reclaim territory seized by Russia but has struggled to break through entrenched Russian lines and has faced growing criticism in Western media for concentrating forces in the wrong places. (Related: U.S. proxy war: Kyiv’s counteroffensive kills or wounds 800 Ukrainians per day, Russia reports.)
According to the defense chief, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's troops are "desperately trying to demonstrate" at least some military success to the West. This is to make the Western allies believe that the country is still worthy of receiving heaps of artillery and economic support. "And in an attempt to hide the failure of the offensive, Ukrainian militants attack civilian targets and pass them off as military victories," the minister said.
Shoigu also told senior defense officials during their meeting that Ukraine has lost more than 66,000 militaries and 7,600 weapons since it launched the counteroffensive. Furthermore, Moscow's air defense systems have shot down 159 HIMARS rockets, over 1,000 unmanned aerial vehicles, and 13 cruise missiles over the past month.
"The Russian armed forces continue to destroy the military infrastructure of Ukraine with precision strikes. Over the past month alone, 34 command posts of the Ukrainian armed forces ... were hit," Shoigu added, pointing out that the Ukrainian armed forces have suffered significant losses in the Zaporizhzhia area, where the situation is the most tense.
He said that the Ukrainian armed forces brought brigades into battle from their strategic reserve, whose personnel were trained under the guidance of Western instructors. "Thanks to the selfless actions of [Russian] soldiers ... significant damage was done to Ukrainian units," Shoigu said referring to the Zaporizhzhia direction.
Assuring further obstacles in Kyiv's counteroffensive operations, Russia's top general reported that Russian troops are yet to receive four new Tu-160M, which is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber and airborne missile platform. This year, six modernized four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter Il-76 are also set to augment Russian President Vladimir Putin's military.
Moscow's 18-month-old war with Kyiv proved that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other Western allies' military technology is actually not all it is chalked up to be.
"The Russian army debunked many myths about the superiority of Western military standards," Shoigu said at a security conference attended by Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu earlier in August, adding that it was now obvious that NATO weaponry, modern war doctrine, and training "cannot ensure superiority on the battlefield," per a transcript posted by Russia's Defense Ministry.
"In many cases, even Soviet-made equipment surpasses Western models in its combat qualities," Shoigu claimed and said that he is ready to share assessments of the weaknesses of Western technology with partners.
According to the New York Times, Ukraine lost around 20 percent of its U.S.-provided equipment in its summer counteroffensive as pointed out in July when reports showed that nearly a third of the Bradley armored vehicles sent by Washington to Kyiv have either been damaged or destroyed.
In June, Russia claimed to have shot a separate video of a Leopard tank being destroyed and in July, it said it managed to seize a downed U.K.-provided Storm Shadow missile, as its bases behind the frontlines received repeated strikes from such munitions.
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