Question: How do you generally assess the progress in the special operation at the moment, and what is the current situation in view of the counter-offensive?
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I already spoke about this and it is a well-known fact: the Ukrainian armed forces launched it [the counter-offensive] on June 4 using their strategic reserves. Oddly enough, it is a slow burn at the moment, because the enemy is sustaining serious personnel and equipment losses. As of last night or this early morning, to be exact, our men have taken down 245 tanks and about 678 armoured vehicles of different types, to say nothing of the enemy’s personnel losses, which are very significant.
Apparently, the enemy is busy putting together new divisions out of brigades that sustained serious losses and is restoring its combat capacity. Of course, the enemy is wary of similarly large losses in the future because it might not just lead to it losing its combat effectiveness – or, to be exact, lead to losing not only its offensive potential but the army’s combat readiness in general. They have something to rack their brains about.
But as of today, we see that this offensive potential is not exhausted yet. The enemy still has reserves, and it is considering how to best employ them and where.
I just said it but I will repeat: thanks to the courage and heroism of our troops, and our commanders’ readiness to repulse any aggressive action against Russia, I believe the enemy stands no chance. They realise that and this is why they are stalled, although occasional combat incidents are taking place, such as shelling and combat reconnaissance missions. But, again, their offensive is not in its active phase yet.
Question: Is the number of “taken down” Western machines also growing?
Vladimir Putin: Of course, it is growing. The question is how many we have hit. I need to check the latest figures. As of last night, it was 245 tanks and, as I said, 678 armoured vehicles of different types. Of course, some of them are Leopards; some are French and US armoured vehicles. They are burning like crazy.