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teleSUR/ JF

Dec 26, 2023

"Ukraine is a de facto bankrupt country," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu pointed out.

On Tuesday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the Russian army has achieved its major goal for 2023 by thwarting Ukraine's counteroffensive.

"We are consistently moving towards achieving the stated goals of the special operation," he said, pointing out that the Russian forces are also gaining more favorable positions and expanding its control in all directions in the battlefield.

The Russian minister said that these victories were possible thanks to the creation of a system of defensive lines, the high combat capability of the Russian forces, and the "skillful and decisive actions of the defenders of the homeland."

Shoigu recalled that the United States and its allies have supplied Ukraine with 5,220 armored vehicles, 28 aircraft, 87 helicopters, 23,000 drones, and over 1,300 artillery systems, as Sputnik reported.

"Ukraine received US$203 billion from external sponsors, US$30 billion more than its gross domestic product," the Russian defense minister said, emphasizing that "Ukraine is a de facto bankrupt country."

On Tuesday, Valeri Zaluzhni, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, acknowledged that his country's troops have withdrawn to the outskirts of Marinka city.

"Our fighters are being attacked. The fact that we have now retreated to the outskirts of Márinka and in some places have already established positions behind Márinka, cannot provoke a public outcry," he explained in a rare press conference.

"We protect every piece of our land, every piece, but if enemy shells begin to litter this narrow piece with stones, dirt and our soldiers, then the lives of our soldiers are more important to us. War, unfortunately, is like that ," he added, tacitly acknowledging a tactical defeat.

Meanwhile, Moscow hopes that the capture of Marinka will pave the way for it to tighten the siege around Avdivka, a city that is the main objective of the Russian offensive that began in October.

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