Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Tuesday June 13 that his forces were crushing the Ukrainian counter-offensive. But he admitted that Russia had not prepared sufficiently.
Catastrophic” losses: Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Tuesday that his forces were crushing the Ukrainian counter-offensive, at a time when Kiev is claiming initial gains. This is the second time since Friday that the Russian president has claimed that his army is repelling the assault that Ukraine has been preparing for months, with Western arms supplies, to drive Russian troops from occupied Ukrainian territory.
“The (Ukrainian) losses are approaching a level that can only be described as catastrophic”, Vladimir Putin said during a televised meeting with Russian war correspondents, claiming that Russian losses were “ten times less”. According to him, Kiev lost “around 25% or perhaps 30% of the equipment” supplied by the West, putting the figure at 160 tanks and over 360 armored vehicles. On the Russian side, he admitted the loss of 54 tanks, some of which are repairable. These figures could not be verified by independent sources.
Russia also communicates very little about its own losses, despite several retreats since the start of its attack on its neighbor. Moscow claimed for the first time on Tuesday that it had seized German Leopard tanks and American Bradley tanks, vehicles supplied by the West so that Kiev could carry out its vast counter-offensive. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius warned that he would not be able to replace all the tanks supplied by his country to Ukraine and taken out of service.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had said on Monday evening that the offensive in the south and east to liberate Russian-occupied territory was “difficult”, but was making progress with the recapture, according to the Ministry of Defense, of seven villages in the south and advances around Bakhmout (east), a martyred town ravaged by almost a year of fighting.
According to Vladimir Putin, Ukraine launched its “large-scale counter-offensive” on June 4 in “several” sectors of the front, citing two zones in the south and one in the east, without mentioning Bakhmut. “The enemy has not succeeded in any of these areas”, said Vladimir Putin.
According to military analysts, Ukraine has not yet launched the bulk of its forces in its counter-offensive, testing the front line in search of weak points. At present, these operations appear to be concentrated on three main axes: Bakhmut in the east, the Vugledar area in the southeast and Orikhiv in the south.
While proclaiming the failure of Kiev’s counter-offensive, Vladimir Putin also admitted that Russia had not sufficiently prepared for attacks on its soil from Ukraine, and that its army lacked high-precision ammunition and drones. “Of course, it is necessary to reinforce the border (…) It was possible to be better prepared for this,” he said, as Russia was forced to evacuate thousands of people after a massive incursion and strikes from Ukraine. “It became clear that several things were missing: high-precision ammunition, communications equipment, drones”, Vladimir Putin also listed.
On the ground, Russia once again launched its missiles towards Ukrainian towns on Monday night. In Kryvyï Rig, Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown in central Ukraine, these bombardments left at least eleven people dead before dawn on Tuesday, with the destruction of a residential building and a warehouse.