The Russian president was briefed on the campaign against Kiev’s forces in Rostov-on-Don
President Vladimir Putin has held a closed-door meeting with high-ranking commanders during an unannounced visit to the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District, which oversees the military operation in Ukraine.
Putin made a stopover in Rostov-on-Don on his way back from a state visit to Kazakhstan, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters early Friday morning.
Accompanied by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and the head of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, Putin “inspected new models of military equipment,” Peskov said, without offering details. The Russian leader also spoke with other top defense officials, who briefed him on the progress of the country’s military operation against Kiev.
Several Russian outlets released a video showing Putin disembarking from his plane and arriving at the HQ, where he was greeted by Shoigu and Gerasimov.
Rostov Region borders Russia’s frontline Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and has often come under Ukrainian missile and drone attacks in recent months. Putin’s last previous visit and meeting with the top brass at the Rostov-on-Don HQ took place just last month, and, before that, in August and March.
The visit came amid a failed Ukrainian counteroffensive which has dragged on since June, with even Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, Valery Zaluzhny, now admitting that Kiev is unlikely to achieve a breakthrough.
According to estimates by Russian officials, Ukraine lost more than 90,000 troops during its long-heralded counteroffensive alone. Launched in early June, the push has failed to yield tangible gains, resulting only in heavy personnel and material losses, with hundreds of military hardware pieces, including assorted Western-supplied vehicles, damaged or destroyed.
Last week, Putin said that Western powers were “changing their tune now [and] saying different things” compared to their previous insistence on inflicting a military defeat on Russia.
November 10, 2023 at 06:27AM