Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Tuesday that Russia is lacking in drones and other equipment in its war against Ukraine.
Putin made the remarks during a meeting with war correspondents. The despotic leader told state media that things were missing in Russia’s “special military operation.”
“These are high-precision ammunition, communications equipment, aircraft, drones, and so on,” Putin said. “We have them, unfortunately, we lack them quantitatively.”
Putin said production for these weapons has more than double over the past year and by “10 times for the most demanded areas.”
Despite a rare admission from the Russian leader, Putin asserted that Ukrainian forces had suffered “catastrophic” losses in a new counteroffensive and suggested he could order his troops to try to seize more land in Ukraine to protect bordering Russian territory.
Putin also said he was not contemplating a new troop mobilization, as many Russians have feared, but did not rule it out. He reiterated Russia’s claim that Ukraine was responsible for blowing up a Dnieper River dam that caused vast flooding on both sides of the front line last week in the country’s south.
Putin’s comments at an open meeting with military journalists and bloggers followed Kyiv’s claims that Ukrainian troops had captured a handful of villages in the early stages of the counteroffensive.
The meeting, which lasted more than two hours, came after Russian missile strikes in central Ukraine killed at least 11 people overnight.
Putin asserted that Ukraine lost 160 tanks and over 360 other armored vehicles, while Russia lost 54 tanks since the new assault began.
A U.S. official familiar with American intelligence told The Associated Press that Putin’s comments were “not accurate” and cautioned about putting any stock in Russia’s public assessments.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.