Ukraine breakthrough MAPPED: Zelensky's forces now just miles from border after huge gains

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Volodymyr Zelensky took Putin and the world by surprise when he gave the green light to a major counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region last week. Ukraine’s army has made stunning progress and taken more territory in the past five days than Putin’s army managed during the entire of April during its Donbas campaign. Western analysts say that Ukrainian troops have penetrated 43 miles into Russia’s defensive positions in the northeast.

At the same time they have recaptured over 1,100 square miles of territory from the Russian invaders.

Putin’s army has proved unable to halt the Ukrainian juggernaut and is being pushed further and further back.

Latest reports suggest that Ukrainian forces are within just 15 miles of the Russian border.

George Barros, an analysts for the Institute for the Study of War, tweeted: “Ukrainian forces are likely 25 kilometres (15 miles) of the international border with Russia.

“Russian sources reported that Ukrainian forces captured Velyky Burluk in Kharkiv on September 10.

“Russian milblogger Yuriy Kotenyok stated that Ukrainian forces took advantage of the absence of a continuous front line while advancing on Velyky Burluk.”

Anarchy and disarray appear to have broken out among Russian front-line troops in the region, as they desperately seek to escape Kyiv’s advancing army.

Unconfirmed reports suggest some soldiers have turned their guns on their fleeing comrades in a desperate attempt to force them to fight.

WarMonitor, a military analyst, tweeted: “Russian units near Izyum are reportedly having communication issues.

“Some units are complete without communication.”

He added: “There are also unconfirmed reports that Russian soldiers are shooting the ones that want to retreat.

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“Some soldiers are found dead before the battles have even started.”

A Ukrainian military expert said Ukraine’s army was showing “great ingenuity” in its tactical manoeuvres.

Mykola Sunhurovsky, an analyst with the Razumkov Centre, told the Associated Press: “The Ukrainian army has taken advantage of the relocation of the bulk of the Russian forces to the south and is trying to direct the course of the war, excelling in manoeuvre and showing great ingenuity.”

Ukraine’s quick gains, he added, are “important both for seizing the initiative and raising troops’ spirit”.

It comes as the UK’s Ministry of Defence said in its latest war update that Ukraine’s army continued to make “significant gains”.

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The MoD also rejected Putin’s claims that only a small amount of grain exported by Ukraine since August had made its way to developing countries.

Analysts wrote on Sunday: “Over the last 24 hours, Ukrainian forces have continued to make significant gains in the Kharkiv region.

“Russia has likely withdrawn units from the area, but fighting continues around the strategically important cities of Kupiansk and Izium.”

They continued: “On 07 September 2022, President Putin said that only 60,000 tonnes of the grain exported from Ukraine since August had been sent to developing countries, and that the majority had been delivered to EU states.

“Putin’s claim is not true. According to UN figures, around 30% has been supplied to low and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

“Russia is pursuing a deliberate misinformation strategy as it seeks to deflect blame for food insecurity issues, discredit Ukraine and minimise opposition to its invasion.”



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