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Vladimir Putin’s main ally is about the invasion of Ukraine

The comments came from National Guard Chief Viktor Zolotov, once in charge of Putin’s personal security.


One of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies said Russia’s military operation in Ukraine was not going to go as fast as the Kremlin, Moscow’s strongest public statement to date, that things would not be planned.

National Guard leader Viktor Zolotov, speaking at a rally led by Orthodox patriarch Kirill on Sunday, blamed slower-than-expected progress on what Ukrainian far-right forces hiding behind civilians have repeatedly denounced by Russian officials.

His remarks on Friday were in line with an assessment by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who told Putin that “everything is going according to plan.”

“I would like to say yes, not everything is going as fast as we would like,” said Zolotov, who was once in charge of Putin’s personal security, in comments posted on the National Guard’s website.

“… But step by step we are going to our goal and victory will be for us, and this icon will support the Russian army and accelerate our victory.”

The United States and its allies in Europe have called Putin’s invasion a misappropriated imperial land because Moscow has underestimated Ukraine’s resistance and Western decision to punish Russia.

Zolotov is a powerful security official who was once Putin’s security chief.

He is currently the head of the National Guard, a kind of internal military that includes riot police and other forces. He is directly under Putin’s control and has deployed forces in Ukraine.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a union feed.)

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