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Embarrassing 2014 Putin brags that Russia could ‘take Kyiv in two weeks’ | World | News

This week Russia said it would “dramatically” reduce its military activities around Kviv and the northern city of Chernihiv. According to Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin this was done to “create the necessary conditions for future negotiations”. But the West believes the announcement may have been a tactical exercise to buy time for troops to regroup.

The Pentagon confirmed “some movement of small numbers” of Russian troops away from Kyiv, but called it a “reposition not a withdrawal”.

A large convoy of Russian troops has been stationed around the Ukrainian capital for weeks, but has so far been unable to make an inroads into Kyiv.

Speaking on Tuesday, as the war entered its 34th day, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby added: “Russia has failed in its objective of seizing Kyiv. He has failed in his goal of conquering Ukraine.”

The Russian army has been plagued by equipment failures and strategic mistakes since it first attacked Ukraine on February 24.

Read More: Macron ‘has lots of answers to’ as EU arms sales to Putin release

However, in 2014 Putin boasted that Russian troops could conquer the Ukrainian capital in just two weeks.

The Russian president held a telephone conversation with European Commission leader Jose Manuel Barroso, during which the two discussed Russia’s military presence on the Crimean peninsula.

According to La Repubblica, when Barroso asked Putin about Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine, the Russian President replied: “The problem is not this, but if I wanted to, I would take Kiev in two weeks.”

Moscow refused to deny that Putin had made the comments but said the President’s remarks had been taken out of context.

It is believed that Putin’s original plan was to seize Kyiv within days and establish a Kremlin-friendly regime.

However, while half of the Russian troops deployed around the capital have stalled, the rest of the Russian army is making glacial advances to the south and east.

On Friday seven Russian generals were said to have died, and another was sacked during the invasion.

Western officials claim that the last to die was Lieutenant General Yakov Rezanstev, who was the commander of Russia’s 49th Joint Army.

Responding to Russia’s pledge to reduce its military activity in Kyiv, US President Joe Biden said: “We’ll see. I didn’t read anything into it until I saw what they did.

“In the meantime, we will continue to maintain these harsh sanctions.

“We will continue to provide the Ukrainian military with their capacity for self-defense.

“And we will continue to watch what happens.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said he took little stake in Russia’s announcement that it would scale back its attacks in Kyiv.

Johnson said: “We have to judge the Putin regime by their actions not their words.

“Putin turned a knife in Ukraine’s open wound in an attempt to force the country and its allies to surrender.”