Ukraine ‘has basically won’ against Russia says Suter
With the conflict now rapidly coming to the end of its first month, Russian troops are still waging a war they were told would take a few days. But with reports of over 15,000 Russian troops dead, as well as significant damage to military hardware on the ground, Putin has been forced to concede advances and regroup his assets.
During the initial stages of the invasion, the Ukrainian town of Irpin, a suburb of North West Kyiv quickly fell to Russian forces.
Nearly five weeks on, a resilient defensive surge has pushed Russian troops out of the area.
Speaking of the move, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrsky, commander of the city’s defence forces, told FT: “They thought they would in one quick sprint roll in and capture Kyiv.
“But they lost their best forces.
“They did not calculate our ability to mobilise our forces.”
Ukraine has defended the country using guerilla tactics
Russia has “lost its best forces” as a result of Ukrainian defences
Russian commanders had expected to use Irpin as a route into the centre of Kyiv, but guerrilla-style warfare led to the defence of the town.
Ukrainian forces are reported to have destroyed bridges which in turn delayed Russian troops from finding the shortest path into the city.
The alternative route saw Russian tanks and armoured vehicles exposed, and become easy targets for Ukrainian defences to pick off.
In several locations, Russian troops and armour were repelled by smaller, highly motivated Ukrainian units who exploited their superior intelligence-gathering capabilities to establish where the enemy columns were locate
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Warning – The next set of images contains a photo some readers may find distrubing
A captured Russian solider in handcuffs
Reports suggest 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war
Reports emerging from Ukraine suggest Russian troops are not so supported in their mission.
Troops have been seen stuck on the roadside with vehicles out of fuel, captured soldiers have begged for food and phone calls to parents, other have complained of frostbite, while one report showed 300 Russian troops hitchhiked back to Russia after being left for dead.
Further south, similar resistance has seen Russian forces struggle.
In spite of the relentless aerial attacks on the port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian defences have kept Russians out of the centre of the city.
Even control of Kherson, the only large city captured by Russian troops so far, is contested, according to US intelligence reports.
Intelligence analysts believe Moscow is regrouping troops and assets in order to launch a large scale attack on the east of Ukraine.
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Vladimir Putin has painted a very different story of the war on Russian media outlets
Moscow has continuously spread the news of military success back home in Russia.
Reports on Russian media claim the “special operation” in Ukraine is entering into the “final phase”.
In regard to the tactical withdrawal from the outskirts of Ukraine, the Kremlin claims troops would be rotated out of Kyiv so as to “liberate” the Donbas region in the east.
However, an air of caution is still being taken by western intelligence officials over the move by Russia, and claim it should not be seen as a sign Ukraine has won the war.
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Ukraine has called for a no-fly zone, so far, rejected by the West
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said this week: “The scale of the challenges has not diminished.
“The Russian army still has significant potential to continue attacks against our state.”
Ukraine has continually asked for more support from Western nations and NATO.
Whereas many have donated vital defence equipment to Kyiv, NATO has stopped short in securing the skies above the country with a no-fly zone.
Western leaders fear should NATO forces have to engage with Russian aircraft over Ukraine, the consequences of such actions would lead to a global conflict.
On a humanitarian scale, the United Nations has reported over four million Ukrainians have now fled the country, with a total number of 10 million displaced from their homes.