Kremlin officials and propagandists have widely discussed the reasons for the defeat in the Kharkiv area in Russian state media, in stark contrast to their previous rhetoric of exaggerated or fictionalized Russian successes.
The Kremlin has never acknowledged that Russia was defeated at Kyiv or Snake Island, presenting the withdrawal from Kyiv as a decision necessary to prioritize the “liberation” of Donbas, and the withdrawal from Snake Island as a “goodwill gesture.”
And now the Russian Ministry of Defense initially followed the same path and claimed that Russian soldiers were withdrawn from the Kharkiv region to “regroup”, but this version was heavily criticized on the Internet.
ISW sees the Kremlin’s admission of defeat as part of an effort to deflect criticism from Russian President Vladimir Putin and shift blame to the defense ministry and military commanders.
Bogdan Bezpalko, one of the members of the Kremlin’s Council on International Relations, even stated that military officials who did not notice of Ukraine the concentration of troops and equipment and ignored warnings about the imminent Ukrainian counterattack in the Kharkiv region, should “lie on Putin’s table”.
The Kremlin’s admission of defeat shows that V. Putin is ready to recognize and partially even accept Russia’s defeat and focus on shifting the blame away from himself, experts conclude.
Ukraine announced on Tuesday that hundreds of settlements in the Kharkiv region have already been liberated.
Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense Hana Maliar said that since September 6, 3,800 square meters have been liberated during the offensive operation in the Kharkiv region. km territory, more than 300 settlements, about 150 thousand people. According to her, the counterattack operation continues and will continue until the complete liberation of the Kharkiv region.
There were even calls for mobilization
After Moscow withdrew its troops from the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine last weekend, where the country’s armed forces have been conducting a successful counteroffensive, there have been calls in Russia for partial or general mobilization.
“In my opinion, during the last two months, the special operation in Ukraine and Donbas has turned into a war,” said Gennady Zyuganov, head of the Russian Communist Party. “This war was declared on us by the Americans, Europe and NATO.”
“In every war there must be a response. First of all, a comprehensive mobilization of forces and resources is needed”, asserted G. Žuganov.
He made these comments after Duma deputy Mikhail Sheremet, a member of Russia’s ruling United Russia party, said that Maska would not achieve his goals in Ukraine if he did not announce mobilization.
At that time, the Kremlin said on Tuesday that there are no plans for a general mobilization in Russia yet.
“There is no discussion about it at the moment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to the journalist’s question.
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