Unfortunately for those rootin' for Putin, the sudden Russian speed of advance is full headlong retreat.
For months now, Russia has been chewing its way deeper into Ukraine territory, averaging about 1km/day (that's 0.02 MPH for people whose countries landed men on the moon). After a brilliant feint to the south which caught the Russians deploying the wrong way, and caught the pundidiots cock-a-doodling about the "failure" of Not The Main Offensive Effort, the Ukrainians massed their forces in the north instead, and have averaged advances of 20km/day. Put another way, Russia has demonstrated that their tanks can go 20x faster in reverse than they go in forward gear. To find the equal of this Russian retreat, you'd need to look at Iraq in 2002, America coming out of Afghanistan last year, the South Vietnamese Army in 1975, or France anytime after 1815 to present, inclusive.
In the area north and east of Kharkiv, Ukraine has pushed the Russian army all the way back into Russia. Ukrainian forces have recaptured over 1000 mi² of territory in the last week or so, which is more territory than Russia was able to gain in 3 months of heavy fighting when the armchair generals declared they were "winning".
Which is why the Usual Suspects have been rather quiet about this disastrous (for Putin) turn of events. How sad for them.
Piss on the MSM all you like, but even Russian house press organ TASS basically instructed the few fifth-column pro-Russian holdouts in the Kharkiv area to GTFO of Dodge in haste, because the Ukrainians were coming. Suck on that hard cheese, geniuses.
Doubly so, because the possession of the HIMARS system by Ukraine now puts 30 miles of Russian territory in range of shelling, and any military target inside Mother Russia is now fair game.
Trains, tracks, stations? Yup.
Airfields? Power plants? Factories? Major roads and junctions? Dams? Any POL facility? Oh hell yes.
Pretty much anything that Ukraine can make any reasonable argument is contributing to the Russian military's effort is now on the open season list, which means civilians thereabouts are now in season as well, and it won't be just Russian conscripts eating shit for Putin's dreams of a restored Soviet Empire. That's going to have a ripple effect, and put a spotlight on the 800 pound gorilla: Putin's forces suck at this war thing.
War gets a loss less fun when it's fought on your own territory, huh Vlad?
Already, nearly a score of minor Russian officials no longer buying the bullshit, and fully clued in to Reality, have publicly called for Vlad to fuck off and retire, in haste, and openly signed their names to the petition. The state media is openly hosting debates suggesting that maybe signing a peace accord and GTFOing from Ukraine wouldn't be a bad idea. None of this bodes well for Vlad's long-term career prospects, to say nothing of what a paper tiger it reveals Russian military power to be.
Exactly. As. We. Told. You.
Ukraine is fighting for its national survival; Russian troops are fighting for a paycheck. And faced with a peer military advance, they're running like scalded cats, leaving metric fucktons of supplies and operable munitions behind, and leaving some units stranded with no transport out except their boots. The ammo will come as a boon to Ukrainian equipment sidelined for lack of Russian-compatible ammo. The Russian POWs will have their moment in the sun on international news any day now, begging to be repatriated, and/or telling the world where Vlad can head in, and why this military adventure is all nightmare.
|h/t Daily Timewaster|
Pisser, Vlad. You'll be getting those lost rounds back soon, but probably at a high rate of speed.
At some point, the Russian army will stop outrunning the Ukrainian rapid advance, dig in, and put up a fight. Probably. Eventually. Vlad and his generals hope.
Things may even see-saw back and forth like this. But Russia giving up territory 20:1 compared to how they take it doesn't argue for eventual Russian victory.
And Vlad's frustration and desperation could lead to him trying to unleash nuclear weapons, which either opens the ball on WWIII (got bunker?), or gets him that 9mm Retirement Plan just behind the ear, followed by the sudden ascension of General Ivana Survivalot to the leadership of the surviving Russian Federation. Dealer's choice on which is more likely.
Fun times, kids. Fun times. How does this end? Rapidly, one hopes. The sooner Russia withdraws to status quo ante, the better for the entire world.
What does this new turn of events mean for pretty much everyone?
I can hardly wait to hear the spin and bullshit on this new reality in comments, or from the usual Armchair field marshals.