Russian society has unified in support of the offensive in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is running in an election expected to prolong his rule until 2030, said Tuesday.
“Maybe this is the most important: the general consolidation of all the forces of society,” Putin said at a meeting of the defence ministry.
He went on to thank “everyone who helps our fighters at the front, transfers money, sends cars and drones and body armour” and praised a “patriotic spirit of solidarity.”
Since the offensive began in February 2022 the Kremlin has outlawed any opposition to its assault on Ukraine, which is presented as an existential fight against the West.
Once again Putin accused Western countries of using Ukraine as a proxy to wage a war against Russia, and questioned the legitimacy of the Ukrainian nation.
He also said Russian military equipment proved its “superiority” over Western weapons, pointing to the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive that Kyiv launched this summer after stockpiling armaments provided by the West.
Russia has increased its own production, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu detailed, with the economy pivoting to fulfil the needs of the armed forces.
Shoigu gave an extensive presentation of the numbers of losses in the Ukrainian armed forces, equipment destroyed and territory gained by his troops, but as usual did not mention any death toll on the Russian side.
The front line has hardly moved since the Russian retreat from Kherson in November 2022 but Moscow’s troops are on the offensive again after the Ukrainian counteroffensive failed.