Vladimir Putin admits invasion of Ukraine taking longer than he expected

Vladimir Putin admits invasion of Ukraine taking longer than he expected

Vladimir Putin has admitted his invasion of Ukraine is taking longer than he expected as the war grinds on in the east and south of the country.

In a televised meeting in Russia, he vowed he would continue with the war, saying: “Of course, it could be a lengthy process.”

The nine-month unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has killed and wounded tens of thousands and displaced millions from their homes.

Putin said Russia would “consistently fight for our interests".

Kyiv’s mayor warned Wednesday of an “apocalypse” scenario for Ukraine’s capital this winter if Russia continues its barrage of air strikes on infrastructure.

Russian missiles on energy infrastructure targets have repeatedly plunged swathes of Ukraine into darkness.


Kyiv mayor Vitali Kitschko said: “Kyiv might lose power, water, and heat supply.

“The apocalypse might happen, like in Hollywood films, when it’s not possible to live in home.

“But we are fighting and doing everything we can to make sure that this does not happen.”

Russia failed to seize Kyiv in the early days of the war because of fierce Ukrainian resistance.

Putin did not address Russia’s battlefield setbacks or its attempts to cement control over the seized regions but acknowledged problems with supplies, treatment of wounded soldiers and desertions.

Russian officials attempted to strengthen its border defensive positions on Wednesday, after a drone strike at a Russian airfield in the Kursk region bordering Ukraine.

On Monday, two strategic Russian air bases more than 300 miles from the Ukraine border were hit in drone strikes.

Moscow blamed Ukraine, but its officials have not formally claimed responsibility.

Russia responded with strikes by artillery, rocket launchers, missiles, tanks and mortars at residential buildings and civilian infrastructure, worsening damage to the power grid.

Private Ukrainian power utility Ukrenergo said temperatures in eastern areas where it was making repairs had dropped as low as minus 17C.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s presidential office said Russian forces overnight struck nine regions in the east and south, and resumed using Iranian-made Shahed drones after supply difficulties.

In the city of Kherson, a 43-year-old waterworks employee was killed when Russian shelling ignited a fire and damaged residential buildings, the presidential office said.