Putin Sees Success in Ukraine War Despite Official Admitting Setbacks

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said that he sees success in the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, despite recent remarks made by a top ally who admitted that the war was not progressing as fast as Russia hoped it would.

"The operation is developing successfully, in strict accordance with pre-approved plans," Putin said in translated remarks during a videoconference on Wednesday. "As for the tactics of military operations, which was developed by the Russian Ministry of Defense and our General Staff, it has fully justified itself. And our men - soldiers and officers - show courage and heroism, do everything in their power to avoid losses among the civilian population of Ukrainian cities."

Putin's comments come just a few days after the head of Russia's National Guard Viktor Zolotov, appeared to have a different take on the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

In remarks posted to the Russian National Guard's website, Zolotov, who previously served as Putin's personal security guard, said, "I would like to say that yes, not everything is going as fast as we would like."

"But we are going towards our goal step by step and victory will be for us, and this icon will protect the Russian army and accelerate our victory," Zolotov added, according to Reuters.

Prior to Zolotov's comments on Monday, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu took a stance similar to Putin's, saying that the war with Ukraine was "going according to the plan."

During his video conference on Wednesday, Putin also further accused Ukraine of having "a network of dozens of laboratories," that are funded by the U.S. and have carried out "experiments with samples of coronavirus, anthrax, cholera, African swine fever and other deadly diseases."

Several other Russian officials have made similar claims about such laboratories, but these claims have been disputed by the U.S.

"False claims from Kremlin officials about alleged U.S. chemical and biological weapons labs in Ukraine are total nonsense. It is exactly the kind of disinformation we've seen Russia use repeatedly to attempt to justify its horrific actions in Ukraine," U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a recent tweet.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to deliver a video message to a joint session of Congress and spoke about the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. During his speech, Zelensky called on the U.S. to impose more sanctions against Russia, as well as further urging the U.S. to enforce a no-fly zone.

Shortly after Zelensky's speech, U.S. President Joe Biden announced an $800 million assistance package for Ukraine that would send an array of defense weapons.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the military operation in Ukraine is "developing successfully." Above, Putin is seen before a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 15, 2022. MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/Getty