Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on May 2 that Moscow is preparing new explanations for future battlefield defeats at the hands of the Ukrainian armed forces.
"If you observe a number of public statements on Russian resources," Reznikov said in an interview to Interfax Ukraine, "you can see that there are already phrases like: 'We must end the SVO (special military operation)', 'we must move to defense', "we must keep our 'newly-gained' territories.'"
The phrase "act of goodwill" first became well-known in April 2022 after Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitrii Peskov used it to describe Russian forces' retreat from northern Ukraine after decisive military defeat in the Battle of Kyiv.
In Peskov's words at the time, the "act of goodwill" was supposedly made to "create favorable conditions for ceasefire negotiations, even as Russia continued its brutal siege of Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast.
The phrase was later used again to describe Russia's abandoning of Snake Island in the Black Sea in June last year, as well as when extending the UN-brokered deal to reopen Ukrainian ports for the export of grain.
Russia notably struggled to come up with any official response to Ukraine's surprise liberation of most of occupied Kharkiv Oblast in September 2022, with the defense ministry only saying there had been a "regrouping of forces" from Balakliia and Izium.
Ukraine is preparing to launch a much-awaited counteroffensive, led by fresh brigades armed with Western armored vehicles, which will aim to make a strategic breakthrough, hastening Russia's defeat in the war against Ukraine.