Russia has admitted that its three-month invasion of Ukraine is going slower than planned — while insisting it is “not chasing deadlines” in ending the war.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was widely mocked for claiming Tuesday — the 90th day of war — that the slow pace was a reflection of the brutal Russian army’s concern for protecting civilians.
“Ceasefires are being declared and humanitarian corridors are being created in order to get people out of surrounded settlements,” the Kremlin official said in televised remarks.
“Of course, this slows down the pace of the offensive, but this is done deliberately to avoid casualties among the civilian population,” Shoigu claimed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed the statement as “absolutely unreal” after “three months of war crimes.“
“After three months of searching for an explanation why they failed to break Ukraine, they came up with nothing better than to claim that they had planned to do so,” he said in a late-night address.
“Almost 30,000 Russian soldiers killed … and they are trying to cover this up with lies about how they are supposedly not fighting at full strength? How pathetic. The time will come when they will admit it,” he said.
Another Kremlin official, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of President Vladimir Putin’s Security Council, separately made clear that Russia was settling in for a long war.
“We are not chasing deadlines,” he said in a newspaper interview that restated Russia’s claim that it was “denazifying” Ukraine.
“Nazism must be 100% eradicated, or it will raise its head again in a few years, in an even uglier form,” Patrushev said of its widely derided justification for war.
With Post wires