Too Putin Ally Says Ukraine War Has Been Slower Than Expected

( )- When Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his troops into Ukraine on February 24, he may have been expecting a quick victory. Almost four weeks later, however, and the Russian military has still been unable to take control of capital city Kiev, and Russian insiders are expressing their belief that Putin is angry at the slow progress his military has made.

Viktor Zolotov, the head of the Russian National Guard, said during a church service last Sunday that the slower-than-expected progress of Russian troops in Ukraine was caused by “far-right” Ukrainian forces who are hiding behind civilians.

He was repeating an inaccurate claim by the Russian president that the Ukrainian army is made up of neo-Nazis. The claim is a half-truth, as one battalion – known as the Azov Battalion – is explicitly neo-Nazi and consists of around 900 troops.

Zolotov’s comments are substantially different from the Russian government’s official line, however. Just days earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Putin that “everything is going according to plan.”

Was it Russia’s plan not to be able to defeat a substantially smaller army in almost an entire month?

“I would like to say that yes, not everything is going as fast as we would like,” Zolotov said during the Orthodox Christian church service.

“But we are going towards our goal step by step and victory will be for us, and this icon will protect the Russian army and accelerate our victory,” he said.