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Embarrassing Retreat from Kharkiv Belies Russia’s Military Woes

The following article, Embarrassing Retreat from Kharkiv Belies Russia’s Military Woes, was first published on Flag And Cross.

Russia was once thought to be a fearsome nation; one whose military was cold, calculated, and brutally large.  Should their KGB “super spies” not make it easy for the advancing infantry, the operating assumption was that Russia would simply crush you under the enormity of the military itself.

But, as we’ve seen during the invasion of Ukraine, this was all Hollywood hogwash.  This aura of elite military might was nothing more than soft propaganda from American cinema during the Cold War.  Russia’s military is, in reality, a big ol’ mess.  A “Charlie Foxtrot” in one of the armed services’ favorite colloquial phrases.

The latest unavoidable evidence of Russia’s immense ineptitude comes to us from the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, where Russia once help mighty sway in the early days of this conflict.

Russia’s withdrawal of troops from a Ukrainian region that they encircled at the beginning of the war is proving their “inability to capture key Ukrainian cities,” the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said Thursday.

In an intelligence update, the Ministry said “Ukrainian forces are continuing to counterattack to the north of Kharkiv, recapturing several towns and villages towards the Russian border.”

“Despite Russia’s success in encircling Kharkiv in the initial stages of the conflict, it has reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its forces following heavy losses,” the Ministry continued.

And then…

“The withdrawal of Russian forces from the Kharkiv Oblast is a tacit recognition of Russia’s inability to capture key Ukrainian cities where they expected limited resistance from the population,” it added.

Russia has been fortifying its eastern flank of late, moving the conflict’s goalposts once again and not-so-subtly signaling that the Kremlin is going to call holding the Donbas region a “victory”.

The latest reports from Eastern Ukraine appear to suggest that even this is proving to be difficult from the once-mighty military from Moscow.

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