In his TV address on Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia was at war with the collective West rather than Ukraine.
“In reality, we are fighting the collective West plus NATO. When we speak about it, we mean not only the weapons being supplied [to Kiev] in huge batches, but also about systems of communication and information processing systems,” Shoigu said.
The Western states as well as NATO, he said, are supplying Kiev with “huge” amounts of weapons.
The minister went on to stress that the Ukrainian forces are increasingly using Western weapons to target civilian infrastructure, including hospitals.
He stressed that more than 70 military satellites and 200 civilian satellites are working to aid Ukraine and added that some 150 Western military specialists have been deployed to Kiev, de facto leading Ukrainian forces.
Touching upon the issue of the military costs of the armed conflict in Ukraine, Sergei Shoigu estimated that Kiev has lost half of its army, which originally had about 200,000 troops at the initial stage of Moscow’s special operation.
“Over this time, their losses amount to over 100,000 [military casualties]. This includes 61,207 deaths and 49,368 troops who were injured,” Shoigu said.
Over 2,000 foreign mercenaries were eliminated in Ukraine in the past months by Russians, the minister said, adding that 1,000 remain at the combat zone.
Russian losses, Shoigu noted, amount to 5,937, noting that the servicemen were “courageously fulfilling their duties.”
Shoigu has also provided details on the military’s plans, explaining that partial mobilization in Russia is necessary to hold a 1,000-kilometer wide line of control and the liberated territories.
“Naturally, what is behind, and what is there, along this line, it must be secured, these territories must be controlled. And, of course, first of all, this is what this work is being done for – I mean, partial mobilization,” Shoigu said.
He said that only one percent out of Russia’s 25 million-strong military reserve will be subject to partial mobilization. He specified that reserve servicemen who have military professions and combat experience will be mobilized, adding that this will not concern students.
Sergei Shoigu said that the Russian forces fully control the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), partially control the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, and added that they are advancing in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
The LPR and the DPR as well as the Russian-held parts of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions have announced they would hold referendums to join Russia from September 23-27.
The move was followed by President Putin signing a decree on the partial mobilization in Russia.
Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)