MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Russian troops are successfully developing their offensive near Ugledar and Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine) in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at the ministry’s conference call on Tuesday.
The deliveries of Western offensive armaments to the Kiev regime are drawing NATO countries into the conflict in Ukraine and can eventually lead to "an unpredictable escalation," the Russian defense chief warned.
Meanwhile, Russian forces "continue grinding down" the West-supplied weapons both at the front line and along the routes of their deliveries, Shoigu said.
TASS has put together the highlights of the Russian defense minister’s statements on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine.
Special military operation
As a result of their advance in the Donetsk and Zaporozhye areas, Russian troops have liberated seven communities, including Soledar. The combat operations near Artyomovsk and Ugledar "are developing successfully."
Over the first month of this year alone, the Ukrainian military lost more than 6,500 personnel, 26 combat aircraft, seven helicopters, 208 unmanned aerial vehicles, 341 tanks and other armored combat vehicles and 40 multiple rocket launchers, Shoigu said.
"Despite the unprecedented military assistance from Western countries, the enemy is suffering heavy losses," he stressed.
Weapons deliveries to Kiev regime
"The United States and its allies have been trying to prolong the conflict as much as possible. For this purpose, they are supplying "heavy offensive weapons" and openly calling on Ukraine to seize Russian territories.
"Such moves are actually drawing NATO countries into the conflict and can eventually lead to an unpredictable escalation."
Meanwhile, Russian troops "continue grinding down all the armaments and equipment supplied to Kiev both along the routes of their deliveries and at the front line."
Ukraine’s strikes on civilians
While realizing that "they won’t be able to inflict a military defeat on Russia," the Ukrainian leadership has been resorting to intimidating residents of new Russian regions: "Ukraine’s armed forces have been attacking residential areas, hospitals and public gathering areas and committing terror attacks against government and social facilities," Shoigu said.
The Ukrainian leadership’s unwillingness to cease fire last month during the Orthodox Christmas festivities speaks for its "barbaric nature," he said.
Over that period, the Ukrainian military conducted over 550 artillery and mortar bombardments, which Russian forces suppressed by return fire.
Russia’s troops continue "ensuring the security of Russian citizens in new regions and protecting residents of Ukraine from the Kiev regime’s genocide," Shoigu said.