Russian state TV pundits clash over military action in Ukraine
Russia’s elite tank forces have been “severely degraded” according to British military chiefs in a major setback to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. In their daily intelligence briefings, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Ukraine’s counter offensive in the east and south of the country has already seen more than 30 territories reclaimed. Now, in an update on Tuesday, the MoD said Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army is “severely weakened”.
Posting on Twitter, the MoD said: “Elements of the Russian forces withdrawn from Kharkiv Oblast over the last week were from the 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA), which are subordinate to the Western Military District (WEMD).
“1 GTA suffered heavy casualties in the initial phase of the invasion and had not been fully reconstituted prior to the Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kharkiv.
“1 GTA had been one of the most prestigious of Russia’s armies, allocated for the defence of Moscow, and intended to lead counter-attacks in the case of a war with NATO.
“With 1 GTA and other WEMD formations severely degraded, Russia’s conventional force designed to counter NATO is severely weakened. It will likely take years for Russia to rebuild this capability.”
Russia’s tank army has been ‘severely degraded’ by a Ukrainian counter-offensive
The UK MoD said Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army is ‘severely weakened’
Britain, the US, Ukraine and other allies are fighting an information war against Russia, so briefings need to be treated with caution, however, the Russian Ministry of Defence claimed there had been an orderly withdrawal from the Kharkiv area.
It comes just a day after Ukraine’s military said it had reclaimed 500 square kilometres of territory in the south, after a rapid counter offensive.
Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command, said on Monday that the areas were reclaimed in an operation spanning the last two weeks.
She said: “On various sections we have advanced by (between) four and several tens of kilometres.
“We have liberated areas totalling around 500 square km.”
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They added ‘It will likely take years for Russia to rebuild this capability’
Taras Berezovets said a southern counter offensive ‘was a big special disinformation operation’
Ben Judah, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, posted a gif on Twitter showing a timelapse of Ukraine’s counter attack on Russian occupied areas in Kharkiv.
The gif shows that from August 31 to September 11, Russian occupied areas surrounding the north and east of Kharkiv Oblast were pushed back.
By September 11, Russian forces had been repelled as far as Kup’yans’k, a city in the Kharkiv Oblast of eastern Ukraine, around 118km away from the city of Kharkiv.
Mr Judah said on Twitter: “This is Ukraine’s victory … The consequences for Russia have already starters with Azerbaijan’s latest attack on their ally in Armenia.”
‘Instead of the south, the offensive happened where they least expected, and caused them to flee’
Taras Berezovets, a former national security adviser turned press officer for the Bohun brigade of Ukraine’s special forces, has claimed the well-reported Ukrainian southern offensive was a disinformation campaign to distract Russia from the real one being prepared in the Kharkiv region.
He said: “[It] was a big special disinformation operation. [Russia] thought it would be in the south and moved their equipment.
“Then, instead of the south, the offensive happened where they least expected, and this caused them to panic and flee.”
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Russian officials have reportedly publicly called for Vladimir Putin’s resignation
It comes as Russian officials have reportedly publicly called for Vladimir Putin’s resignation after Ukraine’s counter offensive.
Deputies from St Petersburg’s Smolninsky District issued a statement calling for Putin to be tried for treason.
Dmitry Palyuga, one of the councillors, tweeted that the motion was supported by most of the district’s deputies.
He said: “We believe that the decision made by president Putin to start the special military operation is detrimental to the security of Russia and its citizens.”