Russia has admitted its three-month invasion of Ukraine is going slower than planned, while insisting it is “not chasing deadlines” to end the war.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was widely mocked for saying on Tuesday, the 90th day of the war, that the slow pace was a reflection of the Russian military’s brutal concern for protecting civilians.
“Ceasefires are being declared and humanitarian corridors are being created to get people out of the surrounded settlements,” the Kremlin official said in televised remarks.
“Of course, this slows down the pace of the offensive, but it is done deliberately to avoid casualties among the civilian population,” Shoigu said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed the statement as “absolutely unreal” after “three months of war crimes.”
“After three months of searching for an explanation as to why they failed to break up Ukraine, they couldn’t think of anything better than to claim that they had planned to do so,” he said in a late-night speech.
“Nearly 30,000 dead Russian soldiers… and they are trying to cover this up with lies about how they are supposedly not fighting at full strength? how pathetic The time will come when they will admit it,” he said.
Another Kremlin official, Nikolai Patrushev, President Vladimir Putin’s Security Council secretary, separately made it clear that Russia was preparing for a long war.
“We are not chasing deadlines,” he said in a newspaper interview that reaffirmed Russia’s claim that it was “de-Nazizing” Ukraine.
“Nazism must be 100% eradicated, or it will rear its head again in a few years, in an even uglier form,” Patrushev said of his widely derided justification for the war.
with post wires