Putin's humiliation exposed on Russian state TV as Kremlin mouthpiece scales back goals

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The scale of Russian setbacks in Ukraine was on display on Russian state TV this week after a leading host, known for her close ties to Vladimir Putin, rolled back on the military ambitions in the country. Olga Skabeyeva, who hosts a popular political panel show on Russia-1, said that “it would be nice not to lose Kherson at least”. A Ukrainian political adviser Anton Gerashchenko said the claims showed the humiliating losses faced by the Russian military in recent months.

The adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine tweeted that Ms Skabeyeva’s new ambitions vindicated Ukraine’s stunning counter-offensive against Russia.

He tweeted: “Russian propaganda evolution: from ‘taking Kyiv in three days’ to ‘it would be nice to get settled in Artemovsk [Bakhmut] and not lose Kherson’.”

In a clip shared by Mr Gerashchenko from Russia-1, Ms Skabeyeva is speaking to a pro-Russian separatist, Oleg Anatolyevich Tsaryov.

The Kremlin mouthpiece tells him: “Oleg Anatolyevich, we know all the benefits of conquering Odesa.”

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The Russian propagandist continued: “Just like we know all the benefits of taking Kyiv. Or at least Mykolaiv.

“But first the liberation, of course, it would be a good start to get settled in Artemovsk [Bakhmut] and an even better start not to lose Kherson at least.”

However, even this diminished goal looks to be under threat as Ukrainian forces continue to bombard Russian positions in the occupied Kherson region.

On Friday, Ukraine’s military targeted key resupply routes across a major river while moving closer to a full assault on the city.

Ahead of the advance on Kherson, around 15,000 residents have been pulled from the territory in what Russia terms an ‘evacuation’.

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