Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu claims that Ukraine’s ability to fight has been “almost exhausted” after more than 17 months of war.
Speaking at a security conference in Moscow, Shoigu hinted that Russia is unfazed by Western support of Kyiv’s ongoing counteroffensive.
Since the counteroffensive began in June, the war-torn nation has received many donations of defense equipment, including thousands of artillery shells from the European Union and Skydio drones from the US.
“In the special military operation, the Russian army has debunked many myths about the superiority of Western military standards,” Shoigu said, as quoted by Reuters. “The preliminary results of combat operations show that Ukraine’s military resources are almost exhausted.”
The minister’s statement contrasts with Russia’s previous takes on Western nations supplying Kyiv with high-powered military equipment.
Earlier this year, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Russia would respond if the West supplied long-range weapons to Ukraine.
Moscow has also prioritized destroying Western weapons by offering cash incentives to its troops.
Shoigu stated that the Russian defense ministry is aware of the weaknesses of weapons supplied by the US and other Ukraine allies.
He further stated that the foreign defense items “are not invulnerable.”
“We have data on … the destruction of German tanks, American armored vehicles, British missiles, and other weapons systems,” he claimed. “We are ready to share our assessments … with our partners.”
The assessments, the minister said, will make it “obvious” that NATO weaponry, modern war doctrine, and training alone “cannot ensure superiority on the battlefield.”
There have reportedly been numerous cases when Soviet-made equipment surpassed Western counterparts in performance and combat qualities.
Displaying ‘War Trophies’
The Russian military is exhibiting Western weapons and equipment captured in Ukraine at its iconic Army 2023 International Military Technical Forum.
These “war trophies” include a Swedish CV90-40 infantry fighting vehicle, an American M-113 armored personnel carrier, and an Australian Bushmaster armored vehicle.
It also flaunted its most recent capture, the AMX-10RCR wheeled tank made in France.
Poland made a similar move last year when it displayed two damaged Russian armored vehicles captured by the Ukrainian army in the northern city of Kharkiv.