Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Ukraine’s military operation had been gaining momentum. He also said that he hoped that his troops would win more victories after Russia took Soledar, an eastern Ukrainian salt-mining city.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th has been one of the most violent European conflicts since World War Two. It also marks the largest confrontation between Moscow, Russia and the West since 1962’s Cuban Missile Crisis.
Russia announced Friday that it had taken Soledar under its control, marking a rare victory for Moscow following months of battle losses.
When asked by Rossiya 1 about Soledar, Putin said that the dynamic was positive. Everything is moving within the frame of the Ministry of Defense’s and General Staff’s plans.
Putin stated, “And I hope our fighters can please us even more with their combat results,”
Putin has now described the conflict in Ukraine as an existential struggle with an arrogant West and said that Russia would use every means possible to defend itself and its citizens against any aggressor.
While the United States and allies condemned Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, Ukraine pledged to continue fighting until every Russian soldier leaves its territory.
On Saturday, a regional governor of Ukraine stated that Ukrainian forces are still trying to take control over Soledar. According to the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, it is highly unlikely that Ukrainian forces would still be in Soledar.
Reuters was unable to verify the Soledar situation immediately.
Both sides do not publish current figures about the war’s death toll.
The West has placed unprecedented sanctions against Russia for the conflict in Ukraine. However, Russia’s economy has proven resilient.
Putin claims that Russia has turned away from the West, and is ready to trade with Asian countries like China and India.
Putin stated that the economic situation is stable. “Much more than what our adversaries predicted, but also what I forecast.”
Putin stated that unemployment is a crucial indicator.
“Unemployment has fallen to a historical low.” Importantly, inflation is at a lower level than anticipated and shows a downtrend.
Russia’s economy suffered a contraction in 2022 due to sanctions. However, this was still a far cry from the economic collapse that many economists predicted.
Numerous sectors, including aviation and automobile manufacturing, have suffered severe losses. Some economists believe that the increase in weapon production helped to cushion the decline.
Russian officials predict that the $2.1 trillion economy will shrink by 0.8% by 2023.
Russia’s budget for 2023 is calculated on the basis of a Urals mix price of approximately $70.1 per barrel. Russia’s main blended blend trades at less than $50 per barrel.