Putin: Our war against Ukraine is doing great things for us

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Russian leader Vladimir Putin has stated that the country has “lost nothing” from its war against Ukraine and is only gaining momentum.

“I am sure we have lost nothing and will not lose anything. In terms of what we have gained, I can say that the main gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty, and that is the inevitable result of what is happening now,” Putin said at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday.

He went on to say that the “polarization” we see in society after the start of the large-scale invasion of Russia on February 24 is in fact beneficial to Moscow, as “everything that is unnecessary, harmful and everything that stops moving forward, will be disapproved.”

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While dismissing the impact of economic sanctions and claiming that it was actually the West that started the war in Ukraine, the Russian leader failed to explain how spectacularly his stated goal to stop NATO expansion had backfired.

Rather than deter the alliance, the war Putin insists on calling it a “special military operation” has only resulted in a massive build-up of troops in Eastern Europe and the planned admission of new members Sweden and Finland.

Putin also conveniently ignored the staggering cost of the war to Russian troops, tens of thousands of whom have been killed or wounded, according to US officials, while Russian human rights groups say many others have tried to abandon the war due to shoddy equipment and dysfunctional leadership.

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Even when Putin boldly stated that Russia had lost “nothing”, there were plenty of signs that Russian citizens would disagree with that statement. With 419,000 citizens having left the country since early 2022 – more than double the year before –The TBEN reported that sanctioned Russian oligarchs residing abroad “regularly make telephone calls to the Kremlin” requesting them to return home.

And more than six months into the war, nothing seems to be going according to plan for Russian troops on the battlefield, despite repeated dubious statements from the Russian Defense Ministry. Since Wednesday, numerous reports have emerged of Ukrainian troops surprising the Russian army with not just one counter-offensive to take back the Kherson region, but another in the Kharkov region.

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While Ukrainian authorities are silent on the details, even pro-Kremlin propagandists on Telegram appeared to admit that Russian troops had run into trouble.

“I can confirm the encirclement of the combined detachments of the Samara and Bashkiria [special forces] in the city of Balakliya [in the Kharkiv region]. Yesterday there was a connection with the guys, today there is not,” pro-Kremlin reporter Yury Kotenok wrote on Telegram.

“Samara! Bashkiria! Pray for them,” read a message on another propaganda channel. That was soon followed by video purporting to show that Russian troops had been captured in the area.