Russian soldiers ‘flee frantically’ in stolen vehicles after successful counter-offensive in Ukraine

Russian troops have now fled several areas in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region after a successful counter-offensive by Ukraine’s Armed Forces, according to a report by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

As of Sunday, about 150 Russian soldiers fled the villages of Borshchova and Artemivka in two buses, a truck and at least 19 stolen cars, while members of the Ukrainian army continued to advance in the region.

A similar situation was observed among Russian soldiers who occupied the town of Svatove in the Luhansk region. The troops fled the area in four Kamaz trucks, 20 Tiger armored cars and 20 vehicles stolen from locals.

“As a result of the successful counter-offensive of our troops in the direction of Kharkiv, Russian troops are frantically abandoning their positions and fleeing with the loot deep into the temporarily occupied territories or into the territory of the Russian Federation,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) wrote in a report published on Sunday.

The report comes as the Ukrainian military gain a foothold in temporarily occupied Kharkiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the army successfully retook 1,158 square miles of territory between Thursday and Saturday and entered the supply cities of Izyum and Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast, according to the BBC.

The International Business Times could not independently verify the report. However, the British Ministry of Defense On Sunday said Russia “probably withdrew units from” the Kharkiv region, adding that fighting continued around the cities of Izyum and Kupiansk.

Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, also said Moscow’s troops would be redeployed from the Balakliya and Izyum areas of Kharkiv to the eastern Donetsk region.

“In order to achieve the goals of the special military operation, it was decided to regroup troops in the Balakliya and Izyum areas to build efforts in the direction of Donetsk,” Konashenkov said said in a statement.

Konashenkov’s statement is similar to what the Kremlin said at the start of the invasion after it withdrew its forces and focused its efforts on the eastern Ukrainian regions after failing to take over Kyiv.

As of Sunday, the Russian armed forces have lost 52,650 soldiers, according to estimates by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

Russian soldiers guard the destroyed part of the Ilyich Iron and Steel Works in the Ukrainian port city of MariupolOLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images

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