Mr. Putin said that Ukraine suffered 8 times more casualties than Russia after many months of counterattacks, emphasizing that Moscow is always ready for peaceful dialogue with Kyiv.
“The counterattack campaign has been carried out continuously by Ukraine since June 4, but so far, they have not achieved any results. They have suffered huge damage, with a casualty rate 8 times higher than that of Russian forces,” President Vladimir said. Putin said in an interview with Chinese television published today.
The Russian President did not specify the level of casualties on both sides. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on September 26 that the Ukrainian army lost more than 83,000 soldiers and 10,300 weapons units after 4 months of counterattack, but did not announce Russia’s losses.
Responding to Chinese media, Mr. Putin said that the Ukraine conflict began in 2014, accusing Western countries of promoting a “color revolution” to change the government in Kyiv. Ukraine in 2014 witnessed a large-scale protest movement that overthrew pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich.
Referring to the current conflict, Mr. Putin said that discussing peace is “impossible”, because Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree banning negotiations with Russia.
“To start a dialogue, the Ukrainian side needs to annul that decree and show its willingness to negotiate. Russia is always ready and has considered the proposals put forward by its Chinese partner,” he added.
President Putin previously announced that Ukraine’s large-scale counteroffensive campaign had “completely failed” and that the Russian army was switching to proactive defense tactics, continuously consolidating and improving positions across the front line.
According to Western analysis, Russia currently controls about 17.5% of Ukraine’s territory, and Kyiv’s four-month counterattack has achieved almost no significant progress. The Ukrainian army encountered difficulties in its efforts to penetrate the Russian lines, which were protected by dense minefields, fortifications and thousands of additional soldiers.
During the United Nations Security Council session on October 13, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said that Ukraine’s counteroffensive campaign had ended. Russian officials also affirmed that the country is not only confronting the Ukrainian armed forces but also with the NATO countries’ military apparatus and defense industry.
Kyrylo Budanov, head of the General Directorate of Defense Intelligence of Ukraine (GUR), on October 12, admitted that the large-scale counterattack campaign “did not go according to plan”, despite repeatedly stating that Ukraine had a chance to end the conflict before the end of 2023.
Ukrainian President Zelensky last month admitted that the counterattack was slow due to Russia’s air superiority and criticized Western countries for not providing enough necessary equipment for the campaign.