Ukraine: Massive explosion near airbase near Kharkiv
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The Russian President launched a full-scale invasion of the former Soviet country last week despite threats of sanctions from the West. However, Putin’s attempts to capture the country have failed so far. Now, reports have suggested Russian troops are deserting Putin’s invasion and are heading back to Russia “on foot”.
A US official said some Russian units have surrendered without a fight amid concerns they are running out of food.
Journalist, Paul Mason, posted a video on Twitter where he outlined how Putin failed to capture Ukraine and has led to “mass desertion” of Russian troops.
He said: “The third big thing is mass desertions.
“We are seeing evidence now, not simply individual desertions or giving up fighting by Russian soldiers, there is at least one example of an entire unit leaving its vehicles and marching off.
“In one case into captivity and another, it appears, back to Russia on foot.”
He went on to say how it is a “race against time” and whether the sanctions imposed by the West “cripple” the Russian state so quickly that Putin calls a halt.
Appearing to corroborate the claims, Reuters reported a US official as saying “some Russian units appear to be surrendering without a fight”.
As of Sunday night, Ukraine’s interior ministry reported 352 civilian deaths, including 14 children.
Overnight, at least 11 people were killed by Russian rocket attacks on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, according to Ukrainian officials.
More than 500,000 people have fled the country since the invasion, another UN official said on Monday – among the millions who have left their homes.
Putin’s mental state was brought into question with one of his former close colleagues suggested he is “increasingly going mad”.
Concerns for Putin’s mental health are particularly relevant as the Russian leader has his finger on the nuclear trigger.
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However, British defence minister Ben Wallace said he does not expect Putin to use nuclear weapons in his pursuit of Ukraine.
Mr Wallace told Times Radio: “We should be worried that a state like Russia believes that the rules don’t apply to them, whether that is invading Ukraine or using nerve agent in Salisbury, but fundamentally a deterrent is what it is, a deterrent.
“As much as he might be ambitious for Ukraine, I don’t think he wants to go into that space.”
Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who served under President George W. Bush, called Putin’s recent behavior “erratic.”
She said on Sunday: “I met with him many times, and this is a different Putin.
“He was always calculating and cold, but this is different.
“He seems erratic.
“There is an ever deepening, delusional rendering of history.”
On Monday, officials from Moscow and Kyiv attended the talks which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hoped would establish a ceasefire and get Russia to withdraw forces.
The talks were held on the border with Russia’s strongest ally Belarus.
But a convoy of military vehicles was seen heading east in what looked like preparation to join the Russian invasion.
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