Zelenskyy Says Ukraine Took 6,000 Sq Km from Russia In September – In his Monday night address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed to have liberated more than 6,000 square kilometers of territory from the Russian military in the last 12 days.
The news comes as Ukraine continues its counter-offensive in the southeast and after the Russians were pushed back to the border from Kherson Oblast in the northeast, revealing just how much the Russians have lost in less than two weeks of fighting.
“From the beginning of September until today, our warriors have already liberated more than 6,000 square kilometers of the territory of Ukraine – in the east and south. The movement of our troops continues,” Zelenskyy told the nation.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, however, played down the claims on Monday. After admitting that Ukraine has made “significant progress,” Blinken warned that Russia still has “very significant forces in Ukraine as well as equipment and arms and munitions.”
“They continue to use it indiscriminately against not just the Ukrainian armed forces but civilians and civilian infrastructure as we’ve seen.”
Russians Surrender En Masse
A spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence also claimed that Russian troops were not just retreating but surrendering in huge numbers as they “understand the hopelessness of their situation.”
The claim was backed up by local people, who told Britain’s Sky News that the Russians made a dramatic exit in Zaliznychne, a newly-liberated town in southeastern Ukraine.
“The Russians were here in the morning. Then at noon, they suddenly started shouting wildly and began to run away, charging off in tanks and armored vehicles,” resident Dmytro Hrushchenko told the British news outlet.
While Russia has acknowledged the retreats, describing it as a “regrouping” with the aim of doubling down on the “stated goals of the special military operation” in the Donbas region, the truth is that Russia is struggling to maintain control of the territories it gained over the last six months. The situation is so dire that it is also drawing criticism from Putin allies and pro-war pundits who appear on Russian national television.
Life comes at you fast: pundits on Russian TV realize that their military is failing and their country is in trouble. They are starting to play the blame game. Some of them finally understand that their genocidal denial of the Ukrainian identity isn’t working in Russia’s favor. pic.twitter.com/jNNn5xifI5
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 11, 2022
A Ukrainian victory may not necessarily be inevitable or imminent, but Putin is struggling to convince even his own supporters otherwise.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.