It's looking grim for Team Annexation:
Russia no longer has full control of any of the four provinces of Ukraine it says it annexed last week after Ukrainian troops advanced dozens of kilometres in Kherson province in the south of the country and made additional gains in the east.On Monday, the Russian military acknowledged that Kyiv’s forces had broken through in the Kherson region. It said the Ukrainian army and its “superior tank units” had managed to “penetrate the depths of our defence” around the villages of Zoltaya Balka and Alexsandrovka.
The [Russian] Ministry of Defence spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said Russian troops had occupied what he called a “pre-prepared defensive line”. They continued to “inflict massive fire damage” on Ukrainian forces, he claimed.
His comments are an admission that Ukraine’s southern counter-offensive is dramatically gaining pace, two months after it began. Ukrainian brigades appear to have achieved their biggest breakthrough in the region since the war started, bursting through the frontline and advancing rapidly along the Dnieper River.
The Ukrainian military’s southern command said forces in the south destroyed 31 Russian tanks and one multiple rocket launcher, without providing details of where the fighting occurred.
Russian sources acknowledged that the Ukrainian tank offensive had moved along the river’s west bank, recapturing a number of villages along the way, and threatening the supply lines for thousands of marooned Russian troops.In a sign of turbulence inside Russia’s army command, the head of the western military district was reportedly sacked on Monday in the wake of the recent defeats.
The news outlet RBC said Col-Gen Alexander Zhuravlyov had been fired. His district is one of five that make up Russia’s armed forces. The move follows criticism over the weekend by Chechnya’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov, of Valery Gerasimov, Putin’s chief of the general staff, over the loss of Lyman.
“This is obviously related to the war blunders, which are becoming harder to hide. The Kremlin is looking for scapegoats,” said a former Russian defence ministry official who has worked with Zhuravlyov. “The pressure on the commander of the Russian armed forces, Valery Gerasimov, will only increase,” the former defence ministry official added.
But wait, there's MORE!:
Russia's forces occupying Ukraine’s southern Black Sea region of Kherson have suffered serious territorial losses to Kyiv’s troops over recent days, maps published by Moscow's defence ministry showed.
The ministry’s daily video briefing made no mention of any pullbacks on Tuesday, but the maps included showed that Russian forces were no longer in control of the village of Dudchany on the west bank of the river Dnieper, where Ukraine’s forces have been pushing to reclaim territory captured at the start of Moscow’s offensive.
In the northeastern Kharkiv region, defence ministry maps showed that Russian forces have left positions on the west bank of the Oskil River. They appeared to have retreated some 20km (12.4 miles) to the east, as far as the border of Luhansk province, in the aftermath this month of a counteroffensive by Kyiv’s army.
That's all Russian sources admitting that the Russian Army is getting its ass kicked all the way back to actual Russia, Internet Field Marshalls. Hint to the hardcore Putards: this was the military breakthrough news you've been breathlessly waiting for since February. Except it's going in the wrong direction. Bummer, huh?
Ukraine has regained more territory in one month than Russia could capture in five. This doesn't bode well for the competence or success of any future Russian operations short of Canned Sunshine deployment.
Maybe the Russians are going to wait until the Ukes have totally recaptured all Ukrainian territory before they spring their Sooper Sekrit Counter-Offensive.
Probably by zooming in from behind on flying unicorns, right?
The war is far from over. Things may shift again. But it hasn't been a very good week for those Rootin' For Putin.
How sad they must be.