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President Vladimir Putin has declared that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is going as planned, branding the Kremlin military as the 'real heroes'.
Despite previous reports that Putin was growing frustrated with the progression of the Russian army, and that the president had 'overestimated' the capabilities of his military, Putin has since spoken out in praise of his soldiers.
In order to avoid capture, a Russian soldier even reportedly 'blew himself up' with a grenade, and will now be receiving a posthumous award from Putin.
Russia's Vladimir Putin says the "special military operation" in Ukraine - as Russia has been calling it - is going to plan.— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 3, 2022
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Putin continued his live address by calling Ukrainians 'neo-Nazis' and accused them of making 'human shields' out of civilians, Sky News reports.
Despite Ukraine reporting that Russia is not allowing for the safe passage of fleeing civilians through humanitarian corridors, Putin claimed it wasn't Russian forces blocking them but Ukrainian 'nationalists'.
Above all, the president stressed that the 'special military operation', which first began on February 24, is going according to plan.
He concluded: 'All objectives that were set are being resolved or achieved successfully.'
It must eat Putin up to see Zelensky become a global hero, the strong courageous leader towering in moral worth over the Russian pariah. It makes Zelensky’s fate all the more precarious. And the situation in Ukraine even more fraught.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) February 27, 2022
Putin's latest claims act as a heavy contrast to intelligence reports that, alongside suggesting Putin 'overestimated' the capabilities of his military, also eluded to Russian troops being left in tears over orders to bomb civilian areas, with some having even reportedly disobeyed orders to do so.
Yesterday, March 2, Russia's defence ministry released its first figures of the country's fatalities since invading Ukraine.
However, the UK Ministry of Defence has alleged that the number is 'considerably higher' than the Kremlin has admitted, and Russia's fatalities have been commented on by the Ukrainian military as the 'worst number [...] in its entire existence'.
Contradicting Putin's recent appraisal of the Russian forces, earlier today Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy told his country: 'We are a people who in a week have destroyed the plans of the enemy. They will have no peace here. They will have no food. They will have here not one quiet moment.'
While Putin called his soldiers 'heroes', Zelenskyy stated that, in his view, they 'are not warriors of a superpower' but 'confused children who have been used'.
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