Putin has ample challenges in Ukraine to tackle: On day 38 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian military is counterattacking on almost all fronts as the Russians are withdrawing from several places, including Kyiv.
The International Committee of the Red Cross tried and failed to reach Mariupol with a humanitarian convoy, but Red Cross officials said that they would try again.
Ukraine Problems: Russian Forces Pull Back From Kyiv
The Russian forces that were trying to surround and capture Kyiv are withdrawing, according to Ukrainian and Western officials.
The Ukrainian capital was one of the primary objectives of the Russian military, and Russian forces tried to capture it on the first day of the invasion with a daring air assault at the nearby Antonov airport in Hostomel. However, Ukrainian special operations and conventional forces counterattacked and prevented the quick capture of Kyiv.
Russia’s failure to capture Kyiv in the first 48 to 72 hours of the war prevented Russian President Vladimir Putin from going forward with his plan to topple the Ukrainian government.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Saturday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 17,800 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 143 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 134 helicopters, 631 tanks, 317 artillery pieces, 1,776 armored personnel carriers, 100 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), seven boats, 1,236 vehicles, 76 fuel tanks, 54 anti-aircraft batteries, 87 unmanned aerial systems, 24 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems.
Russian Forces Are Starting To Withdraw In the North
In its daily estimate of the war, the British Ministry of Defense stated that the Ukrainian military is counterattacking on all fronts, reclaiming several lost villages from the withdrawing Russian forces. Thus far, the Ukrainian forces have reclaimed more than 30 villages.
“Ukrainian forces continue to advance against withdrawing Russian forces in the vicinity of Kyiv. Along the northwestern axis, Ukrainian forces’ attempts to advance from Irpin towards Bucha and Hostomel are ongoing. Russian forces are reported to have withdrawn from Hostomel airport, which has been subject to fighting since the first day of the conflict. Along the eastern axis, Ukraine has re-taken several villages. In the east of Ukraine, Ukrainian forces have secured a key route in eastern Kharkiv after heavy fighting. This follows the liberation of Trostyanets, in the vicinity of Sumy, earlier this week,” the British Intelligence assessed.
Last week, the Russian Ministry of Defense had declared that it would be repositioning forces in the north and east of Ukraine to focus on the east and the Donbas region. Russian military officials claimed that the reorganization of forces was part of Moscow’s bigger strategic plan. However, the urgency of the Russian retreat and the reported casualties of the Russian military suggest that withdrawal wasn’t voluntary.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.