The myth of Russia’s “mighty” military is collapsing before our very eyes this week, as Ukraine’s swift counteroffensive has Kremlin soldiers running for their lives.
From the very start of the invasion of Ukraine, there have been stories of Russian soldiers fleeing, deserting, and abandoning their ranks at a record pace. At one point, several troops were even caught pilfering Ukrainian ammunition in order to shoot themselves in their legs and get sent back home without legal repercussions.
Now, as Ukraine pushes back against Russia’s gains in the east, many of Moscow’s troops are simply running scared.
Russian soldiers dropped their rifles and fled villages disguised as locals after Ukraine recaptured hundreds of square miles of territory in the Kharkiv region, according to multiple reports.
Ukrainian forces, backed by increasingly powerful Western weapons, have recaptured the majority of the eastern Kharkiv region in a surprise counteroffensive.
Much of the region had been occupied by Russian troops in the initial offensive beginning in February that brought Russian troops within a few kilometers of key cities like Kharkiv and Kyiv.
Russia had no idea how to handle Ukraine’s swiftness.
The pace of the counter-attack caught Russian soldiers off guard, according to local residents in Zaliznychne, a tiny village 37 miles east of Kharkiv, who spoke to The Washington Post.
Ukraine has suggested that they are seeking to not only repel the 2022 Russian invasion, but are eyeing a potential re-acquisition of Crimea as well.