Panicked Russians 'didn't have time to finish lunch' – humiliating retreat details exposed

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Russia’s retreat from more than 40 towns and villages in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region has become a humiliating public display for Vladimir Putin’s war effort. The desperate and rushed nature of the withdrawal has now been exposed as Ukraine troops find mounds of munitions left behind where their owners fled. Channel 4 News’ Paul McNamara reported: “So swift was the Russian retreat, they didn’t have time to finish their lunches according to Ukraine’s most senior soldier.”

He continued: “The flags around Kharkiv are Ukrainian once more.

“In just five days, Ukrainian forces have retaken more territory than Russia has taken since April.”

In several videos shared online, liberated civilians are seen greeting and praising the advancing Ukrainian troops.

In one clip, a Ukrainian soldier jokes that the amount of abandoned Russian tanks means “every one of us can get a tank each”.

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Ukraine MP Mariia Mezentseva confirmed to Channel 4 News that 40 settlements had been retaken this week so far – far above the 30 previously claimed. 

Professor Sir Lawrence David Freedman also told Channel 4 News the rapid victories and panicked retreats “were like nothing seen in the war so far”.

He said the counter-offensive could prove to be a “really crucial turning point” as he suggested that the collapse of the Russian military “could be quite quick”.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has called the counter-offensive “a defining moment that could lead to a rapid de-occupation of Ukraine”.

Overnight, Ukraine forces pushed further into Russian-occupied territory, leaving Ukraine forces just 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the Russian border

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