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Russia’s Top General Describes Defeat of Ukrainian Offensive

Russian Chief of the General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov described the military defeat of Ukraine’s much-vaunted summer offensive during a briefing today to military attachés at foreign embassies in Moscow. “Today, Washington’s policy is aimed at prolonging the Ukrainian conflict. To this end, Ukraine is provided with significant military and military-technical assistance,” he said. However, despite all the military assistance that Ukraine received, “the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are still effectively carrying out tasks to achieve the objectives of the special military operation defined by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.”

Gerasimov reported that the main task of the Ukrainian offensive had been to cut off Russia’s land route to Crimea. “The enemy was planning to block Melitopol by the end of the 15th day. Later, there were plans for an attack with access to the coast of the Sea of Azov, the city of Mariupol, and the border with Crimea….

“The AFU, which launched the offensive on 4 June 2023, managed to make some progress in Zaporozhye direction at the cost of heavy losses. The enemy though did not even manage to cross the tactical defense zone of Russian troops. There has been no change in the situation on the battlefield as a result of additional supplies of Western weapons to the Kiev regime and the introduction of strategic reserves by the Ukrainian command. The number of casualties among the AFU troops only increased as a result of these actions. Thus, the widely publicized counteroffensive by Ukraine and its NATO allies failed.”

Ukrainian losses during the offensive, Gerasimov said, amounted to “about 160,000 troops, over 3,000 armored fighting vehicles, including 766 tanks, 121 airplanes, and 23 helicopters.”

Gerasimov also spoke at length on Western efforts to impose “strategic defeat” on Russia as well as destabilization operations ongoing around Russia’s periphery, in Southwest Asia, and also in Eastern Asia, aimed at China. But all of these efforts, in the Russian view, are doomed to fail. “At the moment, the military and political situation changes rapidly. A new multipolar world is shaping, hegemony of the U.S.A. and its allies is left behind in the past,” he said at the outset. “Washington tries to maintain Western-centered structure of the world order, ensure dominance worldwide, and dictate the terms to the rest of countries oppressing legitimate interests in [the] security sphere.”