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Putin says Ukraine assault ‘lengthy process’

December 08, 2022

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the Kremlin´s military campaign in Ukraine might have become a “lengthy process” but praised Moscow´s territorial gains.

“Of course, it might be a lengthy process,” Putin told a meeting of the Kremlin´s human rights council, which was once a solid organisation but lost its credibility after critical voices were silenced or exiled. The February offensive meant to bring a quick victory for Moscow has proven difficult for the Russian army, which faced a series of setbacks including the retreat from Kherson, the only regional capital it seized.

Putin added however that the new Ukrainian territory the Kremlin claims to have annexed was a “significant result” of the military campaign. “The Azov Sea has become an internal sea to the Russian Federation, that´s a serious thing,” he noted.

He was also referring to the four regions -- Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson -- that Russia claims to have annexed but never fully controlled. To boost the faltering offensive, Putin called a partial mobilisation in September.

On Wednesday, Putin said that half the Russians called up for military service in September have been deployed to Ukraine. “Out of 300,000 of our mobilised fighters, our men, defenders of the fatherland, 150,000 are in the area of operations,” he said.