Russian military expert retracts pessimistic TV predictions of war

Russian military expert Mikhail Khodarionok publicly retracted a startlingly pessimistic assessment of Moscow's war with Ukraine during an appearance on Russian state television earlier this week.

Khudaryonok, 68, said on the "60 Minutes" program late on Wednesday that the belief that the Ukrainians might launch a counterattack was a "great exaggeration."

The political talk show, titled "The Successes of Russia's Aerospace Forces" this time, was the same program in which Khodaryonok announced last Monday that Ukraine's armed forces are far from collapsing three months into the war.

The program is considered a media mouthpiece for the Kremlin.

Publicly critical voices are largely silenced.

A new law stipulates a sentence of up to 15 years in prison for spreading "fake news" about the Russian armed forces.

While Khudaryonok recently emphasized the strong will of Ukrainian soldiers to fight and the importance of the weapons they got from the West, he now emphasized that the Russian armed forces specifically track down and destroy foreign weapons.

"Soon all that remains of the American howitzers will be just a memory," he said.

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