"The war will not end. Europe's burden will become heavier, because financial support for Ukraine will decrease due to disputes in the US amid the presidential election. Supporting the Ukrainians has a huge political price. Farmers are revolting all over Europe, and almost nobody believes in the victory of the Ukrainians."There may be a change in policy from Brussels after the elections, and Washington could also alter its course following the presidential election later this year, he suggested.
Moscow's forces have liberated the settlement of Pobeda near the capital of Russia's Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), according to a battlefield update published by the Defense Ministry on Thursday.
In addition to capturing Pobeda - whose name translates as 'Victory' - Russian troops have also improved their positions along the front line in Donetsk, defeating Ukrainian formations near the villages of Novomikhailovka and Krasnohorivka, the ministry said.
The battles resulted in heavy casualties for Ukraine, according to the report, which claimed Kiev lost over 410 servicemen, as well as a range of military hardware, including Western-supplied systems.
The Russian military also said it had destroyed the launcher and transport-loading vehicle of a US-made Patriot anti-aircraft missile system, along with other Ukrainian military equipment and manpower in 114 regions.
Last week, Moscow announced the capture of the key Donbass stronghold of Avdeevka, which had served as a pivotal fortress for Kiev since the early stages of the conflict. After months of immense pressure from Russian forces, the Ukrainian military ordered its troops to withdraw from the town on Friday, explaining that the retreat was meant to avoid heavy casualties.
The Russian Defense Ministry, however, stated that Ukrainian forces had started fleeing a day before the official order came through. It shared drone footage purporting to show large groups of Ukrainian servicemen escaping the town on foot while leaving behind heavy equipment.
Moscow has estimated that Kiev lost over 1,500 troops during the retreat, and abandoned wounded soldiers, military hardware, and equipment.