Russia has begun withdrawing troops across a major river to escape a Ukrainian counter-offensive, Ukrainian officials said yesterday.
Mykolayiv district governor Vitaly Kim said the entire Russian command staff had withdrawn from the western bank of the Dnipro River that flows through the occupied city of Kherson in the southeast.
If confirmed, an estimated 20,000 or more Russian soldiers would remain isolated from their commanders and cut off from supply lines by the 800-meter-wide river, over which key bridges in the Kherson region have been damaged by Ukrainian attacks.Read:At least six killed after Russian warplane crashes into apartment block in Yeysk
“I feel a little sorry – but not much – for the stupid orcs left behind on the right bank of the Dnipro,” Mr Kim said in a post on the Telegram social media app, using his favorite derogatory term for Russian. used. soldiers.
“All commanders move to the other side.”
Early in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces moved north from the annexed Crimean peninsula and quickly captured territory to connect with separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine. They also advanced west, hoping to align with the pro-Russian separatists in Moldova and create a land bridge that would cut Ukraine completely off from the Black Sea.
As Russian forces captured Kherson, the only regional capital that had fallen during the invasion, their advance east of Mykolaiv stopped, leaving a vulnerable area of Russian-controlled territory between the front lines, the wide Dnipro River to the east and the Black River. Sea to the south.Read:Five dead after ‘boat collides with whale’ in New Zealand
Since then, Ukrainian forces have repeatedly attacked the bridges over which almost all Russian supplies have to pass.