Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ukraine pushes Russian troops back in counter-offensive near Kharkiv; RU troops ill-prepared for UKR war, says ex-Kremlin mercenary; Nearly Encircled, UKR’s Last Stronghold in Luhansk Resists RU Onslaught; Russia's invasion of Ukraine at 'bit of a stalemate', LIVE UPDATES and MORE

REUTERS/Vitalii Hnidyi
Ukraine pushes Russian troops back in counter-offensive near Kharkiv:
Ukraine said on Tuesday its forces had recaptured villages from Russian troops north and northeast of Kharkiv, pressing a counter-offensive that could signal a shift in the war’s momentum and jeopardise Russia’s main advance.
Tetiana Apatchenko, press officer for the 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade, the main Ukrainian force in the area, confirmed that Ukrainian troops had recaptured the settlements of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova and Slobozhanske, in a pocket north of Kharkiv in recent days.
Yuriy Saks, an adviser to Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said the successes were pushing Russian forces out of range of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, which has been under perpetual bombardment since the war began.
“The military operations of the Ukrainian armed forces around Kharkiv, especially north and northeast of Kharkiv, are sort of a success story,” Saks told Reuters. “The Ukrainian army was able to push these war criminals to a line beyond the reach of their artillery.”
The counterattack could signal a new phase in the war, with Ukraine now going on the offensive after weeks in which Russia mounted a massive assault without making a breakthrough.
By pushing back Russian forces who had occupied the outskirts of Kharkiv since the start of the invasion, the Ukrainians are moving into striking distance of the rear supply lines sustaining the main Russian attack force further south. --->READ MORE HERE
Russian troops ill-prepared for Ukraine war, says ex-Kremlin mercenary:
The Russian military's failure to seize the Ukrainian capital was inevitable because in the preceding years they had never directly faced a powerful enemy, according to a former mercenary with the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group who fought alongside the Russian army.
Marat Gabidullin took part in Wagner Group missions on the Kremlin's behalf in Syria and in a previous conflict in Ukraine, before deciding to go public about his experience inside the secretive private military company.
He quit the Wagner group in 2019, but several months before Russia launched the invasion on Feb. 24 Gabidullin, 55, said he received a call from a recruiter who invited him to go back to fighting as a mercenary in Ukraine.
He refused, in part because, he said, he knew Russian forces were not up to the job, even though they trumpeted their arsenal of new weapons and their successes in Syria where they helped President Bashar al-Assad defeat an armed rebellion.
"They were caught completely by surprise that the Ukrainian army resisted so fiercely and that they faced the actual army," Gabidullin said about Russia's setbacks in Ukraine. --->READ MORE HERE
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