- Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu made opening remarks at the Russian MoD Board session where he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) continued on offensive operation in the South Donetsk, Zaporozhye, and Donetsk direction. The Kyiv regime deploys large amounts of western weaponry and elite units, trained by NATO instructors.
Since 4 June 2023, when AFU started their offensive till now, they have launched 263 attacks at Russian Forces positions. Due to competent and dedicated actions of Russian units, all attacks have been repelled, the enemy failed to achieve its goals, Sergei Shoigu outlined.
Major battles are conducted in the 5-15 km ‘gray zone’ located before the first line of Russian defences. AFU were not able to cross even the first line that have some more heavily protected areas and strongholds.
The Minister also added that judging by obtained information, the AFU plans to launch strikes at Russian Federation territory, including Crimea, with HIMARS and Storm Shadow missiles, supplied by the USA and the UK.
Sergei Shoigu stated: “Deployment of these particular missiles out off the Special Military Operation (SMO) zone will be regarded as direct involvement of USA and UK in the conflict and will result in immediate retaliatory strikes at decision-making centres in Ukraine territory.
In all, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 444 Ukrainian warplanes, 240 helicopters, 4,700 UAVs, 426 surface-to-air missile systems, 10,192 tanks and other armored combat vehicles; 1,125 multiple rocket launchers; 5,163 field artillery guns and mortars and 11,047 special military motor vehicles since the start of the SMO in Ukraine.
- Western countries deliberately pushed the topic of Kyiv's offensive in the media to justify the supply of weapons and ensure unity among NATO member states, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergei Naryshkin said on June 19.
"It was important for the Westerners to promote the topic of the upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive in the global information space. The obviously overestimated importance attached to it is an element of mental attack before the battle. In addition, the constant exaggeration of this topic allowed the Euro-Atlantic totalitarian liberal elite to justify the supply of weapons to Kyiv and ensure the unity of NATO countries, many of which are already pretty tired of Ukraine and its president," Naryshkin observed.
He added that many Western military analysts expressed doubts about the success of the Ukrainian offensive and assessed the tasks announced by Kyiv as "unachievable."
Ukraine has touted its coming offensive since late 2022. It was first scheduled for the spring, then rescheduled to the summer. The Ukrainian government said the postponement was due to a shortage of weapons, or bad weather all while pushing its Western donors to supply progressively heavier arms, including tanks, drones and fighter jets. I wonder: who will pay for all these arms that was used and still is used to kill more and more civilians?
Ukrainian troops launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the South Donetsk direction on June 4, 2023 but failed to achieve their goals. Authoritative representatives of U.S. and European special services and military departments do not rule out that a counterattack could lead to the exact opposite result. The death of a significant number of NATO-trained servicemen and the destruction of equipment will undermine the Ukrainian army's combat efficiency. This, in turn, would negatively affect the stability of the Zelensky regime. According to a number of Western assessments, the Ukrainian statehood itself may ultimately be threatened, the SVR Director added.
Sergey Naryshkin also said that information has recently emerged indicating that Kyiv may continue to work on the creation of a "dirty nuclear bomb" – a weapon filled with explosives and radioactive substances whose explosion leads to the radioactive contamination of a vast territory. For this aim Ukrainian special services have created a unit of small civilian aircraft to deliver such device into Russia.
In his view, dozens and hundreds of staffers of Ukrainian diplomatic and other missions abroad refuse to return home after completing their official assignments. By the way, even nationalist-minded Ukrainians do so, as they, too, believe less and less in Kyiv's victory.
As an illustrative example, if in October 2022 the list of vacancies in the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic missions included about 100 or more positions, in January 2023 the new list already included 140 vacancies. This is despite the fact that the total staff list of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is about 600 employees. The problem of "non-returnees" among the staff of Ukrainian missions abroad is taking on a scale that threatens the normal work of the national Foreign Ministry.
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