Russian President Putin takes part in the opening ceremony of the Year of Teacher and Mentor, via video link in Moscow


  • Putin made the warning in a manual made by the Kremlin and distributed to Russian propagandists
  • The manual also warned propagandists not to discuss the budget allocated to rebuilding occupied Ukrainian territories
  • Russia has so far lost more than 191,000 soldiers in the war in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently warned his people "not to underestimate" Ukraine's much-anticipated counteroffensive and said Moscow's army may suffer losses due to Kyiv's operation.

The warnings were made in a new manual prepared by Russia's presidential administration and distributed to pro-Russia propagandists. The warning was first reported by independent news outlet Meduza, which said it obtained a copy of the Kremlin's manual and spoke to sources close to Putin's administration about it.

"If the offensive is unsuccessful, it will be possible to say: the [Russian] army skillfully repelled an attack that was superior in power. The price of this victory will rise greatly," the Kremlin allegedly said in the leaked document, translated via Google Translate.

"If Ukraine, with the help of weapons from the United States and Europe, achieves some success and occupies territories, [Russia's] loss will also be understandable: the entire West has concentrated huge efforts on the front, but its successes -- compared to these efforts -- are very modest."

The document further noted that Russia will be seen as having "coped" with Ukraine's attacks amid a possible loss because, after all, it is also fighting against "the entire West."

Aside from the warning on Ukraine's impending counteroffensive, the Kremlin also allegedly said Russian citizens and propagandists should not discuss the amount of money being allocated to restore buildings and infrastructures in temporarily-occupied Ukrainian territories. Instead, the Kremlin wants them to say that the budget is being used to repair schools, kindergartens and hospitals in areas it captured.

The International Business Times could not independently verify the authenticity of the document.

It is presently unclear how much resources Russia plans to allocate to restore infrastructure in Ukrainian cities it decimated and occupied amid the war. In February, Sergei Ryabukhin, Member of the Federation Council of Russia and First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Budget and Financial Markets, said it would cost 1.5 trillion rubles ($18.7 billion) to restore infrastructures in the Donbas region.

The manual comes as Ukraine is anticipated to launch its counteroffensive soon. Kyiv has, so far, withheld details of its spring offensive, including when and where it would be launched and what the goal would be.

As of Tuesday, Russia has lost a total of 191,420 soldiers in combat, including 460 killed over the past day, according to estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Analysts say Ukraine's counteroffensive could bring the battle from the east to the southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions