Russia’s Defense Minister simply shrugged his shoulders when asked whether his forces will win the war, in a sign of how badly the country’s invasion of Ukraine is going.
Sergei Shoigu, who has overseen staggering troop losses and battlefield failures, showed no confidence in the military’s capabilities in an interview on Russian television yesterday.
Looking deflated, he comically raised his shoulders with his arms outstretched while saying “we have no choice” when asked if Russia will win the war.
It marked a marked change from his language of 18 months ago, when he said that “domination had to be won.”
Shoigu, who faced a torrent of angry criticism from Wagner’s late boss Yevgeny Prigozhin for his “incompetence”, said: “We survived the spring and summer campaigns.
‘[Russian troops] they are defending what they need to defend.”
Shoigu, who has overseen staggering troop losses and battlefield failures, showed no confidence in the army’s ability to win the war in an interview on Russian television yesterday.
In a sign of how badly Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is going, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu simply shrugged when asked whether his forces would win the war.
Shoigu, who was appointed Russia’s defense minister in 2012 despite having no military experience, has seen more than 270,000 of his soldiers killed or wounded in the war, according to Kiev estimates.
Yesterday he told a Russian television journalist: “We continue to destroy the equipment, eliminate the personnel, all those who continue to fight for a month after the offensive.”
‘The counteroffensive has already been underway for months, we have survived the spring and summer campaigns, and now the autumn campaign has arrived.
The despondent Shoigu added: ‘The troops are committed to maintaining an active defense in the correct and necessary directions. In some areas it is more difficult, in others it is easier, but I can say that the guys act confidently, the commanders act confidently and reliably, they reliably defend what we need to defend today.
“Naturally, these are the directions in which the Armed Forces of Ukraine are trying to break through, but the main task is to destroy, destroy the equipment.”
The journalist then asked Shoigu: “Will we win?”
Shoigu pauses before shrugging, arms outstretched, and saying, “We have no choice.”
His despondent speech came on the same day that Vladimir Putin pleaded with Kim Jong Un to supply Russia with more ammunition and rockets.
Western officials say the move shows the Russian president’s “isolation and desperation” as his troops continue to falter on the front lines.
kyiv’s forces have successfully recaptured territory in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, according to the country’s deputy defense minister.
Hanna Maliar said Ukrainian forces had achieved “steady success” in their campaign to recapture Bakhmut in recent days and had achieved some of their objectives around Klishchivka, a village to the south.
Further north, near the cities of Lyman and Kupiansk, the intense fighting of recent weeks has subsided, he said.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces said in its evening report that Ukrainian troops had repulsed ten Russian attacks near Maryinka in the past 24 hours. He said Russian forces were trying to recapture lost positions northwest of Bakhmut.
A Ukrainian soldier fires a Bohdana 2S22 self-propelled howitzer at Russian troops in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Wednesday.
In a sign that Putin has grown disgruntled with Shoigu and his hectic war efforts, the Russian warmonger turned his back on the defense minister during a visit to a Moscow hospital for wounded soldiers in June.
Upon arrival at the medical center, Putin walked quickly around the group, awkwardly shaking the hands (and in some cases bandaging the stumps) of the medically discharged veterans.
As is typical of these types of visits, most of the soldiers were unable to meet their leader’s eyes and instead stared straight ahead, their bodies rigid with anxiety. No one smiled or seemed particularly happy to meet their president.
Having completed his round of banter, Putin once again stood shoulder to shoulder with Shoigu, who was waiting at the hospital entrance.
As the president approached, Shoigu leaned toward him and appeared to say a few words, but was met with a wall of silence when Putin quickly turned and stood with his back to him.
Shoigu was appointed Russia’s defense minister in 2012 and has been one of Putin’s closest allies for the past decade.
The pair are known to have regularly holidayed together and are believed to have shared a close personal friendship outside of their respective roles.
But Shoigu has no military background, having trained as a civil engineer and served as minister of emergency situations for years before taking over as head of the Russian Defense Ministry.
Furthermore, Shoigu was never part of Russia’s state security apparatus (an experience shared by many of Moscow’s political elites) and therefore many analysts questioned his competence as defense minister even before the Russian tanks crossed the border. with Ukraine last February.
Since then, Shoigu is one of the few senior military and defense leaders who has somehow retained his position.
Putin has turned to several army chiefs of staff, outright demoting or removing commanders he deemed incompetent amid staggering troop losses and battlefield failures.
Shoigu has also faced a torrent of angry criticism from Wagner’s late boss Prigozhin, who is believed to have been killed in a plane crash last month.
Prigozhin has regularly criticized the Russian army’s failure to support its mercenaries in the fight for Bakhmut and accused the Russian Defense Minister of withholding ammunition for his troops.