Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, summed up the activities of the Ministry of Defense in 2023 at a briefing on December 21. The main part of the briefing was devoted to the special military operation in Ukraine. The general announced the main tasks that the Russian troops were solving in Ukraine.
In 2023, the Russian forces successfully repelled the the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The was the main task that Russia achieved in 2023, Gerasimov said. The offensive of the Ukrainian army failed even with all the support from the West and the total mobilisation of Ukrainian citizens, the Chief of the General Staff noted.
Since June 4, the Armed Forces of Ukraine could only make slight progress in the Zaporizhzhia direction, but failed to overcome the tactical defence zone of the Russian troops, Gerasimov added.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine were going to blockade Melitopol by the end of the 15th day of the offensive, and then reach the coast of the Sea of Azov, Mariupol and the border with Crimea in order to cut the land corridor to the peninsula, Gerasimov said.
Since the beginning of June, the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine amounted to about 160,000 people. Ukraine also lost more than 3,000 combat vehicles, including 766 tanks, as well as 121 aircraft and 23 helicopters.
In December, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Ukraine had lost at least 383,000 military personnel since the beginning of the special military operation.
Gerasimov also accused Kyiv of nuclear terrorism. Ukraine still tries to commit acts of nuclear terrorism, the head of the General Staff said. He mentioned drone attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the city of Enerhodar, as well as thwarted attempts to blow up power lines at Leningrad and Kalinin nuclear power plants.
Ukraine continues shelling the Russian territory striking civilian objects including hospitals and schools. The Ukrainian forces use prohibited cluster munitions, the transfer of which to Ukraine from the United States caused outrage even in the West, the general noted.
By summer, the Russian army may break through Ukrainian defences, reach Odessa and liberate Transnistria. The West will only “condemn” Russia's actions and continue supporting Chisinau in words