Russian Defense Ministry:  Defense Minister Shoigu says Russia sees new risks in Afghanistan, is slowing military operations in Ukraine

August 24, 2022

 

Russia is raising the combat readiness of its bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as well as other crisis response forces amid the situation in Afghanistan, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of military heads of SCO member states.

 

"For our part, we are increasing the combat readiness of Russian military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as well as other crisis response forces," Sergei Shoigu said.

 

According to Shoigu, "the situation in Afghanistan, where international terrorist organisations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda (banned in the Russian Federation) are on the rise, remains a serious challenge to security in Central Asia.

 

Against this backdrop, there is a worsening socioeconomic situation, a growing ideology of religious radicalism, drug trafficking and cross-border crime," said the Russian Defence Minister.

 

He said Russia welcomes all international initiatives towards an Afghan settlement and, at the same time, takes measures to ensure security in the Central Asian region.

 

Sergei Shoigu recalled the first meeting of Central Asian and Russian defence ministers in Moscow in June, which discussed the situation in Afghanistan and ways to stabilize it.

 

"We believe," Shoigu said, "such meetings would be useful, including for increasing coordination between our defence ministries. Especially since Afghanistan is SCO observer state.

 

-0-

 

Slowing down of pace of the offensive during the special military operation in Ukraine is a conscious decision, driven by the desire to minimise civilian casualties, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of defence ministers of SCO member states

 

"In the special operation, we are strictly observing the norms of humanitarian law. The strikes are carried out with high-precision weapons against the military infrastructure of the Ukrainian armed forces: command posts, airfields, depots, fortifications and facilities of the military-industrial complex. In doing so, everything is being done to avoid civilian casualties. Of course, this slows down the pace of the offensive, but we are doing it deliberately," Shoigu said.

 

The Ukrainian military is using scorched earth tactics, acting like terrorists. According to him, the Russian military "organized systematic work in the liberated territories to establish a peaceful life." "We are providing humanitarian aid, restoring infrastructure and life support systems," the Russian Defence Minister said.

 

At the same time, he said, "Ukrainian military units are using scorched earth tactics, blatantly violating international norms, and acting like terrorists."

 

"They use residential buildings, schools, hospitals, kindergartens as firing positions, place tanks and artillery in them, using population as human shield. They deliberately shell and remotely mine populated areas with anti-personnel mines, with the purpose of causing as much damage to civilians and infrastructure as possible," Shoigu said.

 

A large number of Ukrainian servicemen are voluntarily surrendering, Kiev is afraid of their testimonies, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of defence ministers of SCO member states.

 

"Now a large number of Ukrainian servicemen, aware of the humane attitude of the Russian side towards prisoners of war, are voluntarily laying down their arms. However, the Kiev regime, in order to intimidate and prevent the surrender of others, as well as fearing their testimonies, is eliminating its own soldiers," said Sergei Shoigu.

 

As an example, he mentioned the strike on a detention centre in Elenovka, where Ukrainian POWs were held, including those from Azov battalion, terrorist organisation banned in Russia.

 

"As a result, 50 people were killed and 73 wounded," Sergei Shoigu said.

 

He also revealed evidence of Ukraine's violation of international norms for the treatment of prisoners of war. "Facts of torture and brutal murders of Russian POWs are posted on the internet by the executors of these inhumane acts themselves," the Russian Defence Minister said. 

Russian Defence Ministry report on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine

 

-0-

 

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine.

 

As a result of Allied Forces offensive, 68th Jager Infantry, 66th Mechanized and 56th Motorized Infantry Brigades of AFU operating in Donetsk direction lost over 600 servicemen. In addition, some 160 servicemen of 66th Mechanized Brigade refused to take part in further combat operations. Command of AFU's Donetsk tactical group decided to withdraw these formations from their positions to the rear areas due to their loss of combat effectiveness.

 

Russian Aerospace Force's operational-tactical aviation strikes has destroyed more than 50 per cent of the personnel of 20th Battalion of 93rd Mechanized Brigade of AFU near Artemovsk. Due to high losses, battalion's soldiers voluntarily abandoned their positions and fled to an unknown destination.

 

18th Battalion of 35th Marine Brigade of AFU has been defeated near Lozovoye, Kherson Region, while attempting to stealthily cross the Ingulets River. More than 80 nationalists and 6 vehicles have been destroyed.

 

High-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces have hit temporary deployment point of 72nd Mechanized Brigade of AFU near Konstantinovka, Donetsk People's Republic. More than 80 nationalists and 8 vehicles have been destroyed.

 

Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops and artillery strikes continue against military facilities in Ukraine.

 

7 command posts have been hit, including those of 66th Mechanized Brigade near Novomikhailovka, 15th Rocket Artillery Regiment near Kurdyumovka in Donetsk People's Republic, 102nd Territorial Defence Brigade near Gulyaipole in Zaporozhye Region, and 47 artillery units in firing positions, as well as 212 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration.

 

5 ammunition depots near Il'inka, Krasnaya Gora in Donetsk People's Republic, Novoalexandrovka in Zaporozhye Region, Shirokoye in Dnepropetrovsk Region, Snigirevka in Nikolaev Region, and combined logistics support facility of AFU near Orekhov in Zaporozhye Region.

 

As part of counter-battery warfare, 1 Uragan multiple-launch rocket battery near Dzerzhinsk in Donetsk People's Republic and 1 Smerch MLRS platoon near Rogan' in Kharkov Region have been hit.

 

In addition, 4 platoons of Grad multiple-launch rocket systems near Seversk, Artemovsk, Orlovka in Donetsk People's Republic and Barmashovo in Nikolaev Region, as well as 3 platoons of D-30 howitzers at firing positions near Soledar, Opytnoye and Antonovka in Donetsk People's Republic have been suppressed.

 

Russian air defence means have shot down 7 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Chernyanka, Belaya Krinitsa in Kherson Region, Nikol'skoye, Volnovakha and Trudovoye in Donetsk People's Republic.

 

Also, 2 shells of Ukrainian multiple rocket launchers have been intercepted near Kamenka in Kharkov Region.