A Russian TV presenter nicknamed “Putin’s mouthpiece” has said that Russia should not expect “good news” as Ukrainian counteroffensives make advances in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Vladimir Solovyov warned that “things won’t be easy for” Russia during a Monday broadcast on the state-run Russia-1 network. Solovyov lamented that Russia could not “attack and take Kyiv tomorrow” before suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists would be unable to stop current Ukrainian advances due to delays in the training of troops.
“Time is required for their training, for their combat coordination and for them to have everything they need for entering battle,” Solovyov said, according to The Daily Express. “This means that for a certain period of time, things won’t be easy for us. Right now, we shouldn’t be expecting good news. We need to possess ‘long will’ and strategic patience.”
Ukraine has recently seen significant success on two fronts of the war. After retaking the eastern city of Lyman over the weekend while pushing into the Donetsk region—one of four regions Putin claimed to have annexed last week—the Ukrainian military on Monday reported making additional major advances in southern Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces broke through Russian defenses to advance “dozens of kilometers” along the west bank of the Dnipro River, according to a Reuters report citing Russian sources. The military reportedly recaptured “a number of villages” during the advance.
Vladimir Saldo, the Russia-installed leader of southern Ukraine’s Kherson region, said on Monday that Ukrainian forces had made successful advances and recaptured multiple settlements in the region.
“Yes, there were indeed breakthroughs,” he reportedly said on state TV. “There’s a settlement called Dudchany, right along the Dnipro River, and right there, in that region, there was a breakthrough. There are settlements that are occupied by Ukrainian forces.”
While known for his support of Putin and promotion of pro-Kremlin rhetoric, Solovyov has previously offered criticism of the Russian military’s performance during the war.
During a broadcast last Thursday of his Russia-1 show Evening with Vladimir Solovyov, he bemoaned that the West was “starting to mock” Russia over the Ukraine war and argued that the military should announce when they “liberate” Ukrainian settlements for Russia.
“It’s worrisome, truly worrisome,” Solovyov said. “There hasn’t been a single operation after Kharkiv that would alleviate this bitterness, nor have there been any returned or added territories. The whole West is starting to mock us.”
“I have a big request for our Army… Let’s start announcing newly liberated places,” he added. “What do you need for this? Three hundred thousand have been mobilized.”
Newsweek reached out to the Russian government and the Institute for the Study of War for comment.