(PresidentialHill.com)- According to the Institute for the Study of War, when Ukrainian forces launched a surprise counteroffensive against Russian troops in the territories around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, Russian troops “failed to plan a coherent retreat.” Kharkiv is Ukraine’s second-largest city after Kyiv (ISW).
According to a report published by The Guardian on Thursday, Ukraine had launched a surprise counterattack in the Northeast Kharkiv region. This came after the country had openly discussed its intention to begin a large-scale offensive on the Southern Kherson region for weeks. This region is strategically important due to its proximity to the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula.
In its daily update on the conflict, the think tank ISW, which is based in Washington, D.C., stated on Monday that Russia had moved more of its forces towards the south in response to an offensive on Kherson but that it had left its front lines in Kharkiv Oblast relatively undefended.
Over the past few days, Ukrainian forces have forced Russian troops to evacuate from important cities such as Izyum and Kupyansk, thereby seizing control of those cities. Many commentators were surprised that Kyiv’s counteroffensive made significantly more headway than anticipated.
IWS also reported that social media pictures appear to depict Russian tanks and other military equipment that has been abandoned close to Izyum.
According to the information provided by the ISW, Ukrainian troops have inflicted a significant operational setback on Russia, recapturing practically all of Kharkiv Oblast in a quick counteroffensive. The success of the Ukrainian military operation was the direct result of careful planning and execution of the campaign, which included efforts to maximize the impact of western weaponry systems like HIMARS.
A considerable number of Russian troops were diverted away from the sectors on which Ukrainian forces had undertaken decisive attacks over the previous few days due to Kyiv’s prolonged discussion and then the declaration of a counter-offensive operation aimed at Kherson Oblast.
According to the institute, “Russian troops most likely fled from the area in a tremendous rush,” and social media images reveal abandoned tanks and other heavy military equipment near Izyum, which shows that Russian troops failed to organize a coherent departure.
The Information Support Working Group (ISW) says Ukraine’s counterattack in Kharkiv is putting strain on the relationship between the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defense.
Since September, Ukrainian forces have regained control of an area over 3,000 square kilometers (1,160 square miles) in size. During the counteroffensive, Ukraine maintained a high level of secrecy regarding what settlements it had seized back from Russia.