Moscow, Dec 19 (EFE).- Russia’s president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday told senior defense ministry and military leaders that the Russian army has the upper hand in Ukraine.
During a meeting that was broadcast live on Russian state television, Putin said that Russia’s “troops have the initiative. We do what we consider necessary, we do what we want.”
The Ukrainian army, on the other hand, was suffering “heavy losses and has largely exhausted its reserves in trying to demonstrate to its real masters some kind of result from its highly-publicized counter-offensive,” the Russian leader said.
Putin added that the “myth of invulnerability of Western military equipment has also collapsed.”
The Russian president said that while the West was not giving up its strategy of “containing” Russia or its “aggressive aims in Ukraine,” Moscow has “no intention of giving up the aims of the special military operation either.”
While he admitted that “2023 had been a tense year for the Armed Forces”, Putin said its officers and soldiers had “professionally” fulfilled their mission and “ensured the country’s global sovereignty, nuclear parity and Russia’s strategic security”.
The Russian leader accused the West of continuing its “hybrid war” against the Kremlin by supplying Kyiv with “real-time” intelligence and modern weaponry, from missile launchers, long-range missiles, cluster munitions and drones.
“And, as we well know, it plans to deliver F-16 fighters to Ukraine and the training of pilots is already underway,” he added.
He also repeated his claim that Western powers had long backed ultra-nationalists in Ukraine, and insisted that if Moscow had not intervened in the annexed Crimean peninsula, there would have been a “massacre”. EFE