A Western official has given some intelligence on the ground in Ukraine and said that Russian troops have abandoned “a lot” of tanks and artillery which could be a sign of a “collapse of the will to fight.”
The official said that Vladimir Putin’s operations have been “disastrous” for him and his troops as they have abandoned “a lot” of tanks, vehicles, and artillery in a “hasty” withdrawal.
Read more on Russia-Ukraine war:
‘Elite Russian unit stage mutiny’ and refuse to fight in Ukraine and are being ‘threatened with criminal cases’
Ukraine set to receive tanks and infantry fighting vehicles from a NATO country will likely enrage the Kremlin
Ukraine war is at a ‘critical’ moment and they have ‘won the battle of occupation and condemned Putin to eternal isolation’
The official told a news conference, “We can confirm that there are no longer units in northern Ukraine.
“It has been a pretty hasty withdrawal by Russian forces and there’s a lot of Russian equipment which has been abandoned in that hasty withdrawal and that’s only going to exacerbate the challenge they have in terms of the refurbishment and reconstitution of their forces as they remove them both into Belarus and into Russia.”
He added, “Some of it’s kind of unclear as to why it’s been abandoned because you might have thought there is some of these vehicles are still usable and you think they would have been able to take and I think there’s something around the collapse of morale and the collapse of the will to fight.”
However, Defence and security analyst Michael Clarke has said the “Russians are pushing pretty hard, he told Sky News.
Clarke said, “It looks if the Russians have been doing a strategic job in trying to bomb the rail link between Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, and that’s a legitimate military target to try to prevent the Ukrainians moving material and troops backwards and forwards.
“But of course, it also makes it much more difficult for civilians to move around the bombing of Kramatorsk itself.”
Speaking of the developments in the east of the country, he said, “the Russians are pushing pretty hard.”
“They’ve taken Izyum, which they didn’t have before, and that has been the base for Ukrainian forces for quite a long time,” he said.
“And you can see they’re beginning to push or try to push down from Izyum. They’re trying to create a circle between Izyum and Luhansk in order to trap the Ukrainian army the wrong side of that line.
“To be honest, I’m not sure they’ll be able to do it because they don’t yet have all the reinforcements that they’re waiting for from the north, since the Russians have withdrawn troops from around Kyiv.
“But the battle to come is all going to take place. It seems, in this circle between Izyum and Luhansk.”