Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the war in Ukraine was "going according to plan," despite defense assessments from other countries.
“The special military operation in Ukraine is going according to plan, in strict accordance with the schedule," Putin said, using the euphemism the Kremlin uses to describe the invasion of Ukraine.
"All tasks are being successfully being carried out," Putin said in remarks to his Security Council broadcast on state television.
However, the defense assessments indicate that Russia is facing "stiffer than expected" resistance from the Ukrainian military.
A 40-mile-long convoy of Russian tanks, armored vehicles, and towed artillery that is believed to be readying for an assault on the Ukrainian capital appears to have stalled some 30 kilometers (or about 19 miles) outside Kyiv and has made “little discernible progress” over the past three days, according to the UK’s defense ministry.
In his remarks, Putin praised Russian soldiers for their courage during the invasion. The invasion, though, has been met with more resistance than expected.
Russia has yet to establish air supremacy over Ukraine, a senior US defense official said, as the Ukrainian Air Force and air defense systems fight for control of the airspace.
“Ukrainian air defenses, including aircraft, do continue to be operable and continue to engage and deny access to Russian aircraft in places over the country,” the official said.
In his remarks, the Russian president again repeated the baseless and inaccurate claim that the democratically elected Ukrainian government is a "Nazi" or "fascist" regime. That language has been roundly condemned internationally, especially considering that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish.