Ukraine: Russia beginning to admit progress is slow says expert
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An image posted online by the Business Ukraine magazine shows the turrets of the vehicles protruding from the murky depths. It comes as the Russian offence shifts to the eastern part of the country, but is believed to have stalled further.
After failing to make any significant gains in the opening phase of the invasion, Russian troops withdrew from the outskirts of Kyiv and moved efforts towards the eastern front.
It is believed that the move marked a transition of objectives from one of complete occupation to territorial gains in breakaway regions.
Russian ground forces refocused their efforts on the Donetsk and Luhansk regions – which have faced Russian-backed breakaway militias since the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
However, military analysts believe that the Russian military has now largely given up the pincer movement troops have attempted to perform to encircle Ukrainian forces in the region.
An assessment by the Institute for the Study of War found that Russian troops appeared to now favour completing the seizure of Luhansk.
The image of tanks sitting hippo-like in the water has been the cause of fresh derision of the Russian armed forces.
One Twitter user, Lee__Drake, responded: “[Dave Attenborough voice] “Many see the Russian tank as only a land animal. But it in fact spends much of its time in the water.
“A tank in water is safe from both flies and Javelins” – a reference to the defensive anti-tank missiles the UK has been supplying Ukraine since January.
Meanwhile, Bob Lichenstein joked: “Russian spokesman touts new amphibious tank corps…”
And another speculated that their commander had “watched a little too much National Geographic and got cocky”.
As the invasion of Ukraine nears the end of its third month, reports have emerged of demoralised Russian soldiers growing ever more despairing with the war.
Reports of disorganisation and miscommunication within the Russian military that have emerged suggest have helped explain why such a vast military has failed to achieve any major successes.
Yesterday, a Western military source said that the Russian President may be responsible for his military’s ongoing woes – micromanaging the war with his armed forces chief after the initial invasion became mired in disarray.
Putin is said to be “involved in tactical decision making at a level we would normally expect to be taken by a colonel or a brigadier,” influencing decisions that affect as few as 700 men.
Russian troops – many of whom are young conscripts – have surrendered, or have resorted to begging locals for food.
Those that haven’t have resorted to horrific acts against Ukrainian civilians, with allegations of widespread rape and murder fuelling war crimes accusations.
According to recent data, Ukrainian armed forces are now mounting a counter-offensive around Kharkiv, a north-eastern city that has already been battered by fighting.
Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to the Ukrainian President, said Russian troops were being redeployed towards the Donbas region, south of Kharkiv, following the attack.
Intense fighting is said to have occurred since yesterday around Popasna, to the west of Luhansk.
General Sir Richard Barrons, former head of the UK’s Joint Forces Command, told the BBC that taking Kharkiv “was just way too big an objective for the Russian military”, and that the latest battle should be regarded as a defeat for Russia.
He added that the invading forces lacked “the numbers, the will or the skill to take large cities”.
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