This past Saturday, Russia officially announced that it is planning to pull back troops from a pair of areas just as Ukraine kicks off its strong counteroffensive advances throughout the eastern region of the country.
The Ukrainian defense forces seemed to have made a few successful advances near Kharkiv, the second-largest city in the country, stated a report from the Associated Press. President Volodymyr Zelenszky openly mocked Russia in the wake of the announcement of a retreat via a video that was put out on Sunday evening.
“The Russian army in these days is demonstrating the best that it can do — showing its back,” expressed Zelensky. “And, of course, it’s a good decision for them to run.”
Just last month, the armed forces in Ukraine kicked off a counterattack in the southern area of the country near Kherson and over in the east near Kharkiv. Those counter-offensives took place just as Russian President Vladimir Putin took steps to try and boost the total number of troops by almost 140,000. Russian inforces have severally stalled out in their attempts to invade that have not gone on for more than six months.
Russian officials have even admitted quite recently that almost all of their operations established within Ukraine have been forcefully slowed down, making the claim that the reason for this is to “avoid casualties among civilians.” As of writing, it has been reported that just over 5,600 civilians have died since to start of the war, and that there are now allegations of Russia intentionally targeting non-combatants.
One spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, tried to explain away the retreat, claiming that Russian troops will just “regroup” out in the Donetsk area in the wake of moving out of the Balakliya and Izyum areas, as reported by the Associated Press. People from the Balakliya area reportedly kicked off celebrations as the counter-attacking Ukrainian troops made their move to get back in the area.
The recent announcement of the troop retreats from the Russian Defense Ministry was issued on the same day that Putin carried out the celebration of the 875th anniversary of Moscow’s initial founding, and such a plan of retreat did nothing but spark off even more criticism about Putin and his hated war.
“Most of these people are in shock and did not think that this could happen,” expressed a war analyst for the Russian-language news outlet Meduza, Dmitri Kuznets, stated to The New York Times. “Most of them are, I think, genuinely angry.”