VLADIMIR Putin claimed Ukraine's counter-offensive has "no chance" of success in a delusional rant today.
He denied Kyiv's troops had made any progress, even as pictures show his wrecked tanks and soldiers' corpses strewn around newly liberated villages.
Isolated Putin also launched a nakedly anti-Semitic attack on Ukraine's president Volodomyr Zelensky, claiming he is "not a proper Jew".
He lashed out in a speech at his showpiece St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which has been boycotted by almost the entire world following his brutal invasion.
Internet networks were shut down for the occasion amid fears of a drone assassination attempt.
In a rambling address he boasted Russia's sanction-hit economy is booming, said workers will get paid more and claimed a budget black hole to pay for his war "justifies itself from an economic point of view.”
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The tyrant went on to claim Ukraine's military has "no chances" against his troops, and is running out of equipment.
He ranted: "Soon Ukraine will stop using its own equipment altogether. Nothing remains of it
"Everything with which they fight and everything that they use is brought in from the outside. You can't fight for long like that.
"(Western) tanks are burning. Several tanks have been destroyed, including Leopards… F16s will also burn, there is no doubt."
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And he warned: "But if they are located outside Ukraine and are used in hostilities, we will have to look at how and where we can hit those weapons used in hostilities against us.
"There is a serious danger of Nato being further drawn into this armed conflict."
He also addressed the humiliating cross-border raids by anti-Putin Russian rebels, which have continued for weeks.
Putin said he could destroy parts of central Kyiv in retaliation, but has chosen not to for "various reasons".
And he repeated threats to launch nukes if Russia loses its occupied territory – but claimed he has no need to.
He said: "Everyone is just waiting for us to start pushing buttons. But there is no such need, because the enemy on the front line has no success."
He then turned his fire on Zelensky, who he has repeatedly smeared as a Nazi despite his Jewish heritage.
Putin frothed: “I have had many Jewish friends since childhood. They say: 'Zelensky is not a Jew, he is a disgrace to the Jewish people'."
Putin's speech came after a week of reports of Ukrainian forces advancing miles in various parts of the so-called contact line.
Russia claims it has destroyed scores of German Leopard tanks and American Bradley armoured cars, and that Ukraine has failed to take significant ground.
However evidence from at least one area of fighting shows Russia hassuffered bad losses.
Graphic images from newly liberated Storozheve, west of Donetsk, show bodies scattered in fields among burnt-out armoured vehicles.
Ukraine recaptured Storozheve and several nearby villages in recent days, 15 months after Russia's invasion.
They lie on a strategic route south to port city Mariupol and Russia's vital "land bridge" to Crimea.
The advancing troops said they killed 50 Russian soldiers in a "mopping up" operation and took four prisoner.
Reuters journalists who reached the village saw crumpled bodies among the smoking wrecks of Russian tanks.
"Three days ago we liberated the village of Storozheve. You can see for yourselves how it was achieved," said Ukrainian soldier Artem.
"You can see for yourselves how it was achieved. You can see the destroyed hardware. Glory to Ukraine,'in Storozheve.
Ukraine is also said to have made limited advances near Bakhmut in the east and in Zaporizhzhia region in the south.
Zelensky aide Mykhailo Podolyak said yesterday the long-awaited counter-offensive has not yet begun in earnest.
He said gains in the past week were part of testing weaknesses in Russian lines.
"We have not yet launched a counteroffensive as such, and Russia is already saying: 'We have already won, we have already repelled the counteroffensive'," he said.
Podolyak said Ukraine's current goals are to kill as many Russian mobilised troops as possible and destroy Russian equipment.
Ukraine has assembled 12 brigades for its big push, some equipped with Western armour.
It comes as Russia struggles to hold back a big push by Ukrainian forces along hundreds of miles of front line.
A puppet regional ruler admitted yesterday Britain's bunker-busting Storm Shadow cruise missiles are a nightmare for the invading forces.
Yevgeniy Balitsky, Kremlin-appointed governor in occupied Zaporizhzhia, said the weapons “certainly give us trouble”.
He added: “We’ve somehow learned how to shoot down US-supplied HIMARS, but our air defence is having a hard time against Storm Shadow.
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"It flies at different speeds, at varying altitudes, changing modes.”
He spoke days after a precision Storm Shadow strike was reported to have killed Major-General Sergey Goryachev, 52, and eight other top officers in a pinpoint strike on a Zaporizhzhia command post.
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