On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin alternated declaring the Kremlin’s openness for peace negotiations with threats of a fresh Russian offensive to seize more Ukrainian territory.
He provided some of the most in-depth commentary about the conflict and his objectives since sending the soldiers into Ukraine more than 15 months ago, speaking during a wide-ranging meeting with Russian military correspondents and war bloggers.
Here is a quick summary of some of Putin’s key remarks:
He said that on June 4, Ukrainian military built up reserves to conduct the “large-scale” assault, but that the endeavour had failed to yield any results and that Ukraine had lost ten times as many soldiers as Russia. His assertions could not be backed up.
Putin said that while Russia only lost 54 tanks, Ukraine had lost 160 battle tanks and more than 300 other armoured vehicles. According to his claims, the amount of Western armoured vehicles that were given to Ukraine was between 25% and 30% less due to Ukrainian armour losses.
The American- and German-built Bradley infantry fighting vehicles “are burning really well,” he smirked, adding that Kyiv’s officials must finally comprehend the catastrophic effects of the counteroffensive.
According to the Russian president, it is up to the US to put an end to the fighting in Ukraine. He maintained that if the US and NATO stopped arming Ukraine, the violence would halt right away.
“If they want to see a negotiated solution to the conflict, it’s enough for them to stop weapons supplies,” he said.
Putin claimed that in March 2022, Ukrainian and Russian negotiators signed a peace agreement, but Kyiv derailed the pact in response to pressure from the West. He declared that Russia is still willing to resume discussions.
He claimed that the U.S. is hoping that the Ukrainian counteroffensive would succeed in bringing down Russia. Putin countered that “many reasonable people” in the U.S. administration do not want to escalate the situation to a third world war in which there will be no winners.
THE KAKHOVKA DAM DESTRUCTION
Putin once more pointed the finger at Ukraine, claiming that Ukrainian forces had repeatedly blasted the Kakhovka dam with HIMARS rockets before ostensibly detonating explosives to destroy it.
In his view, Russia had no justification for destroying the dam. We are definitely not interested in it since it has serious ramifications for the areas we control, he declared.
Putin rejected the Ukrainian claim that Moscow destroyed the dam to prevent Kyiv’s counteroffensive, claiming that due to the overwhelming odds, Russia would have welcomed Ukraine’s attempt to launch an attack in that area.