International experts believe that Russia's stocks of ammunition will become scarce. (Symbolic image) © Handout/imago images.de
Even Vladimir Putin now admits that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has begun. Nevertheless, Russia's ruler does not believe that it can be successful.
Moscow – In Russian propaganda, the war over the past 15 months has mostly sounded as if it had been virtually won. Destroyed Western weapons systems, minimal casualties on their own side, highly motivated Russian soldiers and people who seem to have been waiting for the Russian "liberators" on the other side of the border. From Ukraine and from the West, the information usually looked very different. And now even ruler Vladimir Putin himself seems to admit that the war is not quite so easy to win.
At the weekend, concurring media reports quoted a statement by Putin in which Russia's head of state not only confirmed at a press conference in Sochi that the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Ukraine war has begun. The pro-government news agency Tass also reports that the Russian arms industry is struggling to equip Russian troops with sufficient modern weapons systems.
Unusual words from Putin: Russia has "too few modern weapons"
Specifically, the Tass report said that Putin was "aware" that "Russia's troops have too few modern weapons at their disposal." However, he is confident that "the country's military industry will soon be able to meet the increasing demand." According to a report in the US news magazine Newsweek, it is not clear exactly which weapons Putin is talking about, but there are numerous international experts who assume that Russian fighters consume more ammunition than can be reordered.
The US news portal Daily Beast also quoted a statement by Putin in a message on the Kremlin's Telegram channel, in which Putin had acknowledged that Russia had "experienced significant losses" in recent days, exceeding "classic figures".
Russian propaganda in the Ukraine war: Attempts at counteroffensive "failed"
However, the fact that Putin has apparently acknowledged Russian weaknesses on a few points is not an indicator that the Kremlin's communication strategy or Putin's attitude to the war in Ukraine has changed. The state news agency Tass also quoted Putin on the sidelines of the press conference in Sochi as claiming that the Ukrainian counteroffensive "by no means achieves its goals" and that all previous attempts at a counteroffensive have failed.
In recent days, there have also been several "success stories" from the Russian military, which have been denied and refuted by Ukraine and its partners in the West. For example, Russia had claimed in a video that it had damaged Leopard tanks, which turned out to be a fake, and the damage reported by Russia to a German-supplied air defense system was also denied from several sides. (saka)