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The Russian army has been defeated and retreated one after another, and Putin has no choice but to ask the field commanders to make a high move

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

WASHINGTON — Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the command of the Russian army, which commands the war in Ukraine, and held meetings with military commanders to hear their views on how the war in Ukraine should be conducted, the Kremlin said on Saturday (Dec. 17).

Russia has been invading Ukraine for ten months, but the offensive of the Russian army has suffered major defeats outside the Ukrainian capital Kiev, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and the city of Kherson, a major city in southern Ukraine, and has been forced to abandon its armor and retreat from the three places. Putin was also forced to recruit reservists to compensate for the heavy losses suffered by the front. However, the Russian army’s performance on the battlefield has been criticized and attacked by Russia and the military experts of its allies.

Putin replaced the commander who lost the battle in Ukraine in October and appointed the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, General Sergei Surovikin, as the new commander-in-chief of the “special military operation” in Ukraine. But after Surovikin took office, the Russian army in the ground combat operations on the Ukrainian battlefield almost did not have an offensive, basically on the defensive. However, the Russian army has carried out large-scale missile and artillery attacks on civilian infrastructure in many Ukrainian cities, trying to cut off electricity and water in these cities when the cold winter weather falls, heating or drinking water.

According to a video released by the Kremlin, Putin chaired a meeting with more than a dozen military generals at a round table alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who was criticized by hawkish Russian commentators, and Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian army’s general staff.

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In another video released by the Kremlin, Putin sits at another conference table at the Joint Special Operations Command of the Russian Army and asks the military commanders attending the meeting for their opinions on military operations on the battlefield in Ukraine.

“We will listen to the commanders of each combat direction, and I would like to hear your suggestions for our current and medium-term operations,” Putin told the commander of the Russian army.

The official Kremlin website also posted a photo of Surovikin attending the meeting.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia’s Interfax news agency that Putin spent an entire day at the Russian Joint Special Operations Command.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Saturday that Russia has enough missiles to continue its more serious large-scale airstrikes against Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials said the Russian army used a total of 76 missiles of various types in Friday’s airstrike, and Ukrainian engineers have been busy repairing work after the airstrikes to restore power as soon as possible.

Putin also spoke by phone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday about the war in Ukraine and Russia’s bilateral relationship with India, sources from the Kremlin said.

“The leaders discussed in detail the prospects for concrete cooperation in mutual investment, energy, agriculture, transport, and logistics,” said a statement issued by the Kremlin.

The statement said Putin and Modi were “satisfied” with the high level of cooperation between the two sides based on the special strategic partnership.

“At the request of Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin made a principled assessment of the state of affairs of Russia’s actions in the direction of Ukraine,” the statement said.

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