President Volodymyr Zelensky and his military commanders have deployed a clever tactic which is seeing hundreds of Russian soldiers being “annihilated” in fierce fighting.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) have delivered a powerful counterattack against Russian troops where by they have been “surrounded” on the Kharkiv front line in the northeast.
The AFU have made enormous gains very quickly as they are gathering momentum and are now within striking distance of Izyum where thousands of Russian troops are holed up.
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Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces have said that in some places their soldiers have advanced up to 50 km within Russian-held territory.
They added in their situational report on Saturday, “More than thirty settlements that were temporarily occupied by the Russian invaders in the Kharkiv region were liberated or taken under control.”
Dan Snow, who is a military historian, said this is the “holy grail” for commanders which could be “annihilating.”
Snow said, “This….is mind-blowing. We are watching an army scythe through enemy lines, and thrust deep behind them, threatening to surround large numbers of troops.
“Envelopment is the holy grail. It can be annihilating.”
President Zelensky’s troops have now reached the Oskil river as Senkove and they have now cut of Russia’s main line of communication with forces based in Izyum.
Thousands of Russian troops are now trapped and Putin could lose an entire army group of troops meaning Ukrainian forces could win the Donbas.
Even though the AFU have been successful they are still vulnerable to counterattacks from Russian troops, so there is no time for celebration just yet.
Snow warned, “If these flanks don’t hold, you’re in trouble.”
A Russian military blogger, warned that Ukrainian forces are thin on the ground, “Play Civilisation” said, “Of course, Ukraine’s forces are in a vulnerable situation – they are drawn out in thin lines of formation, they have poor communications and a thin density of soldiers.
“A powerful counter will simply crush their group and create a gigantic hole in their defence.
“But for that you need reserves. The question is do we have any there or not?”
Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War wrote that Kyiv have been successful in recapturing an estimated 2,500 square kilometres in Kharkiv Oblast as of 9 September.
ISW analysts said, “Russian forces and occupation authorities in the rear of occupied Kharkiv Oblast are panicking to reinforce Russian positions and ‘evacuate civilians’ amid the high pace of the Ukrainian advance.
“Geolocated Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) footage shows Russian military convoys in Raihorodka, Luhansk Oblast driving north reportedly to reinforce Russian forces in unspecified areas of Kharkiv Oblast.”
Barracuda, an Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) investigator, tweeted on Friday evening, “Eyewitnesses from Izyum report that clashes took place in the city.
“Residents of Izyum report that the Ukrainian Army has surrounded the city, and some Russian soldiers have laid down their weapons and surrendered to the Ukrainian Army.”
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