According to British assessments, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is increasingly portraying himself as a central figure in the war of aggression against Ukraine - including with exaggerated claims of losses on the Ukrainian side. The British Defense Ministry said on Monday that President Vladimir Putin's confidant apparently wanted to appear as the leading strategist in the light of the Ukrainian counter-offensive. "Shoigu is probably aware of the need to maintain a positive image in the face of increasingly blatant criticism from some compatriots," the agency said.
Most recently, the minister has commented several times on Russian defense operations, including "almost certainly greatly exaggerated claims about Ukrainian losses." He also publicly called on the Russian defense industry to redouble its efforts and criticized officials for not sending reserve armored vehicles to the front quickly enough. The public appearances contrasted with other key moments of the war, when Shoigu was not seen, it said.
The British Ministry of Defense has published daily information on the course of the war since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, citing intelligence information. In doing so, the British government wants to both counter the Russian portrayal and keep allies in line. Moscow accuses London of a disinformation campaign.