(DCWatchdog.com) – A surprise major Ukrainian offensive, which has just liberated vast swaths of land from Russian occupation, forced the armies of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to “flee like Olympic sprinters,” a Ukrainian commander has revealed.
Ukraine recaptured more than 2,300 square miles of Russian-occupied territory in the Kharkiv region in the east, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced Monday night.
The liberated towns include Kupyansk, the most significant regional railroad hub used by the Putin regime to supply the Russian forces further south, in the occupied region of the Donbas, and Izyum, a town of about 50,000 people used as a regional command headquarters by the Russian military.
While the former was captured by the Ukrainians in their rapid advance, the latter was vacated in a hurry by the Russians, who were fearful that their group of at least 10,000 troops could be surrounded and destroyed.
“We hoped for success but didn’t expect such cowardly behavior [by the Russians]. They abandoned their tanks and equipment . . . even grabbed bicycles to escape,” Petro Kuzyk, a Ukrainian commander whose troops fought in the offensive, told the Financial Times, as cited by The Daily Mail.
“That the Russian army is completely degraded made our work easier; they fled like Olympic sprinters,” Kuzyk added, noting that Putin’s forces fled so quickly that the Ukrainian defenders found their “meals still laid out on tables.”
In a seeming retaliation for the massive Ukrainian counter-offensive, the Russian regime carried out on Monday missile strikes on a major power plant and other civilian infrastructure, which left Kharkiv, a city of 1.6 million people, and other towns in the region without water and electricity, while three civilians were killed.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which was ordered by Putin on February 24 of this year, and started with 200,000 heavily armed soldiers, has been going on for 202 days.
As per the latest estimates of the Ukrainian government, the official Russian military has lost more than 53,000 troops killed in battle, while nearly 14,000 units of Russian military equipment have been destroyed – including more than 240 warplanes, more than 200 helicopters, and more than 2,100 main battle tanks.
Russia’s total manpower losses may be at least twice higher – at 90,000 -100,000 killed in combat – if the casualties of Putin’s private armies and the ethnic Russian proxies from the occupied parts of Ukraine are also counted in.
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