Ukraine’s much-heralded attack has not been able to breach any of the Russian defensive lines, but Kiev keeps sending men to their deaths, the commander of the Chechen special force ‘Akhmat’, Apty Alaudinov, told Russia 1 TV on Thursday.
“The picture we see is that the enemy, having reached our first line of defense, can’t advance through it. We warned them about this. They realistically do not have the forces and resources, for all that they’ve built them up, to break through our three echelons,” Alaudinov said on the ‘60 Minutes’ evening news show.
“Let them waste [their people], as they planned, to the last Ukrainian. They only make things worse for themselves. The realistic result, I’ve always said, will be the same. We will definitely win this battle,” he added.
Later, on his Telegram channel, Alaudinov repeated that Ukrainian forces “did not even pass our first line of defense in any sector.” While Kiev’s troops have “temporarily occupied” some patches of land here and there, none of those positions pose a strategic threat, he maintained.
Alaudinov also downplayed the small Ukrainian presence near the destroyed Antonovsky Bridge in Kherson, calling it a public relations stunt without any significant military results – but at the cost of high casualties as Russian forces “systematically destroy them.”
The Ukrainian offensive, which was originally supposed to begin in the spring, kicked off on June 4 on the southern front. Kiev had hoped for a battlefield victory ahead of the July 11 NATO summit in Lithuania.
A series of company-sized attacks ran into minefields, artillery fire, attack helicopters and dug-in infantry and tanks. Russian President Vladimir Putin has described Kiev’s losses as “catastrophic,” and ten times greater than Moscow’s.
In the three weeks of heavy fighting, Kiev’s forces have suffered upwards of 13,000 casualties, along with hundreds of tanks and other armored vehicles, many supplied by the West.
Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, acknowledged on Wednesday that the fighting is “hard work” and asked the West to have patience.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted that his troops had encountered “very tough resistance” on the ground. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has tried to present the attacks as a “preparation operation,” and not the offensive itself.
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