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Putin Is Freaking Out: Ukraine’s Offensive Is Working

Ukraine
Image of Ukraine tank firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Ukraine Makes Significant Gains In Kharkiv – Following a series of victories in southeastern Ukraine recently, the Ukrainian military has reportedly made further gains in the Kharkiv region as their secretive counter-offensive continues.

According to Vitaly Ganchev, the Russian-installed regional leader of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian military is making a “very sharp and rapid” advance in regions previously occupied by the Russian military. The advances came as a surprise to Russian forces, with very little about Ukraine’s plans being released to the press ahead of time or even after the military recaptured several Ukrainian towns and villages.

Friday’s comments from Ganchev are a de-facto acknowledgment that the  Russian military no longer has full control of Kharkiv, the second-largest city in the country.

Nonetheless, Ganchev painted a picture of Russian resistance.

“The enemy is being delayed as much as possible, but several settlements have already come under the control of Ukrainian armed formations,” Ganchev said.

During an interview on Russian state television, Ganchev expressed concern about the effectiveness of Ukraine’s new offensive.

“The very fact of a breach of our defences is already a substantial victory for the Ukrainian armed forces,” he said.

The only comments from Russian officials, however, have been local. The Kremlin has refused to comment on advances made by Ukrainian forces in recent days and continues to work overtime to encourage as many new recruits as possible.

Gaining Too Much Ground, Too Quickly

Global Public Policy Institute research fellow Tobias Schneider offered an insight into Ukraine’s recent successes against the Russians, arguing that the Ukrainian military was gaining more ground than it can keep up with.

In a tweet on Friday, Schneider said that by analyzing rumors circulating on major Telegram channels, it was becoming obvious that “Russian lines are collapsing faster than Ukraine can even advance and clear liberated areas.”

It’s good news, but it also makes establishing a clear picture of these gains much harder. It also puts pressure on Ukraine to quickly populate these liberated areas with sufficient numbers of military personnel to prevent Russian soldiers from reclaiming the territory that Ukraine has only just liberated after six months of fighting.

“One imagines even those Russian forces willing and organized to resist will inevitably find themselves outflanked, at risk of being cut off and forced to retreat. Occupying forces appear threadbare throughout. A dynamic that will be hard to backstop,” Schneider added.

Images Paint Picture Of Russian Desertion

Photographs shared on Telegram and Twitter on Friday also reveal just how many losses the Russian military has experienced in recent days.

In a post by Ukraine Weapons tracker, photographs showed Russian air defense systems captured by the Ukrainians in Kharkiv Oblast. The post describes how Ukrainian forces claimed “a 2S6M/M1 combat vehicle from the 2K22M/M1 Tunguska anti-aircraft system, and a much older ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG.”

Other photographs showed an “ancient” GAZ-51 transport track captured by the Ukrainians – another sign that Russia is struggling to equip its troops on the front lines with modern equipment

Other images show Russian tanks and armored vehicles captured by Ukrainians, still emblazoned with the “Z” symbol that has become synonymous with Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy Breaks Silence On Kharkiv Counteroffensive

After more than a week of staying tight-lipped about his military’s advances in Kharkiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy celebrated the liberation of the city of Balakliia, which is located in the Kharkiv Oblast province. A video was shared on the president’s social media accounts showing Ukrainian soldiers standing up above a building in the city which has been under Russian control for the last six months.

The soldiers were pictured standing on a Russian flag with a Ukrainian flag flying behind them.

“The order is fulfilled. Russian occupational troops have withdrawn,” one of the soldiers is heard saying in the clip.”

The news also comes after Zelenskyy claimed in his nightly address on Thursday that his military had reclaimed more than 1,000 square kilometers from the Russians.

Also on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to lose many lives to defend his military’s control over Ukraine.

Su-35 over Ukraine

Su-35 over Ukraine. Image Credit: TASS/Russian state media.

“There are a huge number of Russian forces that are in Ukraine and unfortunately, tragically, horrifically President Putin has demonstrated that he will throw a lot of people into this at huge cost to Russia, at huge cost to its future,” Blinken said.

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.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He 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.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Gary Jacobs

    September 9, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Still more images show US made M270 MLRS, which is the tracked version of HIMARS that can load 12 GPS precision guided rockets at once instead of HIMARS with 6, has already been seen in recently-liberated Balakliia — from that central spot of this offensive one can note their effective range against Russian groupings in Kupyansk to the north east [and beyond], and Izium to the southeast [and beyond], as well as most of Russia’s ground lines of communications in the region.

    Pretty much the whole of the sector is in Ukrainian crosshairs. It may take a minute for a bunch of howitzers to catch up, but the tip of the spear can call in a strike from US made MLRS if need be. Especially if the Russians decide to clog the roads with new troops from Belgorod. M270 can range out for at least a dozen miles past Kupyansk from Balakliia. And I am guessing that the tip of the Ukrainian spear also carries small tank killer drones that can range out at least 30 miles from Kupyansk to hit Russians on that road from Belgorod. That should hold any Russian reinforcements at bay until Ukraine shores up recent gains.

    Ukraine has also dropped the bridge that separates the 2 sides of Kupyansk, which indicates they are likely to pause there and establish defensible positions while filtering out Russian POWs and organizing captured equipment and ammo.

    Speaking of which, geolocated footage shows Russians abandoning massive amounts of ammo and equipment that should keep the Ukrainians resupplied for a long time. I have also seen Tor SAM systems, IFVs as well as a fully loaded and intact BM-21 Grad 122mm MLRS.

    If the Ukrainians seal in the 10000 Russians in Izyum, The biggest logistical problem for Ukraine now will likely be what to do with all the new Russian POWs they just captured, or dead Russians they killed for foolishly deciding to keep fighting after the GLOC from Kupyansk was cut.

    We’ll see if the Russians come out of their haze with an effective response, but it isnt looking good for them as of now. And the next 3-5 weeks are looking even worse.

  2. Goran

    September 9, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    We need Daniel Davis to put all this into perspective and explain how Putin will in fact spank the bejeezus out of Ukrainians if they don’t cave in soon. What a clown!

  3. getrecked

    September 10, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Is anyone still reading this garbage site? “Anti-extemism expert, Jack Buckly” LOLOLOLOLOLOL

  4. Ben Colder

    September 10, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    What I don’t like is Brandon throwing billions at the Ukraine war when we do not have the money that war monger the powers that be in the district of communism have never saw a war they didn’t love.Putin will not quit unless and until he gets his ass beat or someone takes him out.

  5. Lt

    September 10, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    You.LOLOLOLOLOLOL

  6. Stephen Morgan

    September 10, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    The only thing I see is the Ukranian Nazis have walked themselves into a Russian trap.

  7. JENNIFER ARES

    September 10, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    THE INCESSANT UKRAINE IS WINNING PROPAGANDA NEVER ENDS.

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