As of 48 hours ago, a conservative estimate of the land the Ukrainian military had regained from the Russians was 2,500 square kilometers. The stretch was closer to 6,000 square kilometers according to the deputy defense minister.
The absence of intense fighting is what caused the sudden turn around. According to military sources in Kyiv, the Russians ran away so the Ukrainians could roll in.
According to an order handed down from Moscow, the withdrawal is simply a reorganization operation. In recent days, details of Russia's moves in recent days have been documented in the international press and on social media, including among hardline Russian nationalists.
There appears to be nothing going on regarding this withdrawal. Ukrainian witnesses told the Washington Post that Russian soldiers fled on bicycles and in cars that were stolen from Ukrainian villagers. Some retreating forces were suffering heavy losses from Ukrainian weaponry so they stripped off their uniforms and put on civilian clothes to escape. Reports of trapped Russian soldiers begging for help never came.
Russian and Ukrainian sources agree that the remnants of the Russian army in Kharkiv have been pushed back into Russia. Several pieces of equipment, including mortars and armored vehicles, were reported to have been stolen by the Ukrainians after they allegedly penetrated the border. Yahoo News can't verify this claim.
There is a lack of planning on the part of Moscow. An adviser to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs joked about the generosity of Russians. There is a video that shows two Russian tanks abandoned in Izyum, a central logistical hub for the invaders. The T-80BVM is one of the most recent models of tank. An online weapons tracker pointed out that the tank was in the exact same spot two days later, suggesting it hadn't been used before the Ukrainian assault.
A video posted to social media shows a Ukrainian tractor hauling off a Russian tank.
The Ukrainians have taken enough armor off the Russians to outfit multiple brigades, according to a retired Army colonel. The inventory ledgers of Russia and the Ukrainians are both red.
In the last seven days, Russia has lost around 400 pieces of heavy equipment, including over 70 tanks and 200 other armored vehicles, according to an open-sourced database. The haul is large enough to improve the chances of the Ukrainians in future offensives.
The Kherson region is home to one of those. The campaign began two weeks ago. According to analysts, it was a partial deception to hoodwink the Russians because of a patient military build up, excellent operational security, and the diversion of some of the Russian army's most powerful units. Despite the large Russian garrison on the west of the Dnipro River, the Ukrainians say they are making gradual progress.
The main road link between Russia and the east was hit by the Ukrainians again on Monday, reminding Russian troops that one of their main escape routes is in the sights of Ukrainian shelling. Natalia Humenyuk, head of the press center of the South Operational Command, claimed Monday that the Ukrainians had liberated 500 square kilometers of territory and killed more than 1800 Russian soldiers.
It's more difficult to verify events in Kherson than it is in Kharkiv because of the Ukrainian media embargo. The Biden administration is optimistic about the future of the battlefield. President Biden gave a thumbs up when he was asked if the offensive in Ukraine could continue.
One senior U.S. official characterized Russia's loss in the east as "stunning." It proves that Western military hardware can change the course of the war.
There are cracks in Russia's propaganda Commentators on state television are starting to accept a less optimistic view of how the war is going.
It is not possible to defeat Ukraine using current resources and colonial war methods according to a former State Duma deputy.
He replied that what he wanted was peace talks to end the war, not mass deployment in Russia to bolster ground forces.