Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu until October to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Institute for the Study of War reports, citing an insider source.
Source: Institute for the Study of War (ISW), citing an insider source
Quote: “A Kremlin insider source claimed that Putin reportedly gave Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu a deadline of one month until early October 2023 to improve the situation on the frontlines, stop Ukrainian counteroffensives, and have Russian forces regain the initiative.”
Details: The insider’s claim reportedly suggests that the Russian military command may be ordering continuous counterattacks in the hope of bringing the Ukrainian counteroffensive to a climax, even if it comes at a cost to Russian military capabilities.
The ISW’s analysis mentions that Putin first acknowledged the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive on 9 June, emphasising two key and persistent narratives: that Ukrainian forces would not make significant gains due to well-prepared Russian defences and that Ukrainian troops would suffer heavy losses of personnel and Western military equipment.
“Putin and the Kremlin have been framing Russian defensive operations as a major battlefield victory, and persistent Russian counterattacks allow the Kremlin to claim these operations as individual victories amidst the general lack of Russian battlefield advances elsewhere,” the report reads.
Analysts suggest that these efforts are likely seeking to undermine support for and confidence in Ukrainian forces both in Ukraine and in the West.
“Putin may have ordered the Russian military command to hold all Russia’s initial defensive positions to create the illusion that Ukrainian counteroffensives have not achieved any tactical or operational effects despite substantial Western support. This informational undertaking can only succeed in the long run if Russian forces can actually prevent Ukrainian forces from breaking through and liberating large areas, however,” ISW pointed out.
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