Putin visits Russian army headquarters, rumored to be taking personal control over Russian 'military operation' in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the joint headquarters of the Russian armed forces, met with commanders and, as emphasized, spent the whole day with the military, reported the Kremlin’s press service.

According to the media reports, this is the first case in almost ten months of war against Ukraine, when the Russian president publicly demonstrates such a deep involvement in military affairs. The video published by the Kremlin, shows that the meeting with the participation of the president was also attended by Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, Head of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and the head of the "special operation" Sergei Surovikin.

This is Putin's first known visit to the joint staff headquarters of the Russian troops since the beginning of the war. Prior to this, the Russian president was only updated by the Minister of Defense and gave orders that did not concern specific operations. For example, almost immediately after the invasion, Putin ordered Shoigu and Gerasimov to bring the nuclear deterrence forces into a special mode of combat duty, and during a meeting with Shoigu in the summer called the assault on Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol inexpedient.

The footage released by the Kremlin also shows that rumours about Gerasimov's resignation were not true.

Earlier, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said in an interview with The Economist that he believes that Russia may try to launch a new offensive in February, "at best in March, at worst - at the end of January."

  War in Ukraine, Russia, Putin