Putin Says Ukraine’s Losses Close to ‘Catastrophic’

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Tuesday that Kyiv was suffering massive losses in its highly touted counter offensive against Russian positions in Ukraine, which he said was targeting several sectors of the front.

“Their losses are approaching a level that could be described as catastrophic,” Putin said during a meeting with Russian journalists and writers covering the conflict.

After months of building up expectations, Ukraine launched its offensive to claw back territory from Russian forces.

It claimed its first gains over the weekend and on Monday, while Russia said it repelled all attacks.

“This is a massive counter offensive, using strategic reserves that were prepared for this task,” Putin said.

Putin said Ukraine launched its offensive on June 4, and was leading it in at least three sectors: Shakhtar and Vremenksy in the east, and Zaporizhzhia in the south.

“The enemy was not successful in any area,” Putin said, claiming Russia suffered “10 times fewer losses than those of the armed forces of Ukraine.”

Kyiv over the winter bolstered its forces with weapons delivered by its Western allies.

Putin said Kyiv had lost 160 tanks and 360 armored vehicles, “which, according to my calculations, is about 25 percent, maybe 30 percent of the equipment delivered from abroad.”

“We lost 54 tanks and some of them can be repaired and brought back to operation,” Putin said.

The counter offensive began after a series of attacks on Russian territory, including in the border region of Belgorod.

“One could have assumed that the enemy would behave this way, and one could have prepared better,” Putin said.

“Of course, we need to reinforce the border,” he said.

The Russian leader also said that Moscow’s forces in Ukraine were suffering from shortages in military equipment.

“During the course of the special military operation, it became clear that many things were lacking,” he said.

“High-precision ammunition, communications equipment, drones etc… We have them, but unfortunately, there is not enough.”

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